If you have kids of different genders, you may have noticed how differently they feel about the ridiculousness that is Valentines Day.Ah, yes. February 14. St. Valentine, the patron saint of making everyone feel loved (or unloved) and riddled with anxiety that they’ll disappoint their significant other. Like many aspects of parenting, this day is viewed quite differently in my house—a house where both boys and girls live. Here’s the breakdown of how to prepare, celebrate, and react to this ridiculous super special meaningful holiday if you’re a girl vs. a boy.

(Warning: stereotypes ahead. It’s okay. Have a chuckle.)

Valentines Day Prep

If you have kids, chances are you’ve helped them make the “box.” It’s supposed to be a cute receptacle in which other kids’ valentines can be delivered. Here’s how that goes.


Materials needed: shoebox and one crayon

Refuse to acknowledge a box is needed until 7 pm the night before.

Write name on shoebox with one crayon. Say “I’m done.”


Materials needed: several shoeboxes (to allow for practice runs and/or errors in sticker placement), 3 bottles of glue (plain), 3 bottles of glue (glitter), 5 sticker sheets, ream of shiny “fancy paper”, markers, crayons, colored pencils, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, pom-poms (small, medium, and large), magical fairy dust, 5 strands of unicorn hair, gas for 3 trips to Michaels

Painstakingly construct box and create elaborate design over a period of 52 hours.

Cry because it’s not perfect.

Make it again. And again.

Purchasing and Addressing of Valentines 

You also must either purchase or make 20+ valentines in preparation for the “big exchange.” Your boy(s) might be a tad underwhelmed by this task in comparison to your girl(s).


Scan shelves of valentines for 3.5 seconds. Make choice. Ask if we are all done. Once you’ve returned home, quickly write your classmates’ names in barely legible chicken scratch. Upon the completion of the final name, beg to play Minecraft.


Spend 90 minutes poring over the valentines selection at Target. After 60 minutes, have your choices narrowed down to 3. Finally make your decision with slow, deep breaths.

Address each valentine in hot pink marker with curly-q lettering. Use a heart each time you have to dot an i. Fasten each one closed with a perfectly aligned heart sticker and dab of glitter. Hum with merriment throughout entire process.

Valentines Day Attire

Your teachers may even suggest festive colors like red, pink or white. The appropriate responses to this are as follows.


Wear whatever shirt / pant combo is on the top layer of your dresser drawer. When your mother suggests you change into something red, shrug and grunt.


The night before the big event, lay out every pink shirt / skirt / dress / leggings / hair bow / necklace / bracelet / socks combination on your bedroom floor. Choose outfit and accessories and then change your mind 865 times.

Post-Valentines Day Response

Once the festivities have commenced and you return home after school, your offspring of different genders may react slightly differently with their newfound loot in hand.


Detach any candy or other “cool” stuff that is worthy of keeping like tattoos or glow sticks. Throw everything else away by 4:00 that afternoon.


Seal each and every valentine in a special keepsake box to be kept for all eternity. When your mother attempts to discard them 6 months later, shriek in horror because they are all “so, so special.” Even the one from that nameless boy you’ve never played with.

And that’s how you celebrate Valentines Day if you’re a girl. (And how to barely acknowledge it, if you’re a boy.)



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