Pin It
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

How My Kids Made Me Like Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Cards by my five year old/ incultureparent

I never cared much about Valentine’s Day until my oldest daughter was two. That year at preschool, she received her first Valentine’s Day cards. The box that they crafted to hold the Valentine’s and all of the cards within it became one of her favorite things to play with for many months. Each day, she took out the box and sorted through all the Valentine’s, sometimes ordering them and sometimes forgetting them in different places around the house. Not yet able to read, she knew who gave her each of the cards, without having to ask me the name. Witnessing how special the day was for my daughter, the simple act of giving and receiving cards from her friends, accorded me a new appreciation of the day.

Every year on Facebook, I am reminded by all of my friends in Latin America that Valentine’s Day is not just about love. It’s also about friendship: “Feliz Dia del Amor y Amistad” (Happy Love and Friendship Day). My kids’ excitement reinforces the essence of the day that we’ve somehow lost through greater commercialization. It’s not really about flowers, chocolates, expensive dinners and manufactured displays of love that often turn into unmet expectations. The essence is a celebration of all types of love and the spontaneity of the little tokens of affection–like the simple pleasure of receiving cards from all your school friends.

Here are the cards my five-year-old made this year, almost entirely by herself. She had a very strong vision of what she wanted. And we decided to add the finishing touch of writing all the kids’ names in both Arabic and English, thanks to my husband’s help.

Can you tell which one is her best friend? She glued two hearts on her card.

And here are my three-year-old’s cards. She liked the elephant theme, so I cut everything and she colored in all the hearts.

Happy Love and Friendship Day!

© 2012 – 2013, Stephanie Meade. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:

6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan

Our top picks for Muslim and non-Muslim kids alike

Almost African: My Childhood as a Serbo-Croatian in Sudan

The freedom of growing up as the only Serbo-Croatian in Sudan

Is all the Hard Work of Bilingualism Really Paying Off?

I just found out the surprising answer.


Stephanie is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of InCultureParent. She has two Moroccan-American daughters (ages 5 and 6), whom she is raising, together with her husband, bilingual in Arabic and English at home, while also introducing Spanish. After many moves worldwide, she currently lives in Berkeley, California.

Leave us a comment!

  1. CommentsMeera Sriram   |  Tuesday, 14 February 2012 at 11:12 am

    Love this article Stephanie!! Beautifully said, and much needed for the cynic in me! And elephants with hearts on the trunk, awww…! But the best would have to be Arabic touch – beautiful, again!

  2. CommentsThe Editors   |  Tuesday, 14 February 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Thanks Meera! I am hoping that people actually recognize it’s Arabic and not just kid scribbles, given Moe’s writing and all- lol.

  3. CommentsInCultureParent | How I Saved Valentine’s Day in 30 Minutes   |  Friday, 15 February 2013 at 9:31 pm

    […] to fail on helping my kids make (or let’s be real—making for my kids while they kind of help) cute Valentine’s this year. But alas I did. With so many cute and easy ideas out there, like this from Rookie Moms, […]

  4. CommentsInCultureParent | Why I am Not Making Valentines This Year   |  Thursday, 13 February 2014 at 10:22 pm

    […] their store-bought, animal pictured Valentine’s as they were with those 40 hand-drawn and cut elephants with a heart glued to their noses that had their friends’ names written in two alpha… that one year. (Yes, I really did that—it was a family effort as I enlisted my husband to write […]

Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!

Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

Her baby's bare feet ended up being a lesson on poverty and privilege.
[…] the breastfeeding culture in Mongolia compared to America. Did you have any idea that something as simple as breastfeeding attitudes can […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
My mother born in the 1930's is originally from the northern part of Germany. I am in my mid fifties and have a terrible relationship with my mother. She is domineering and hurts those where it hurt...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
[…] JC Niala, InCultureParent […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] […...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
Although humanity is one Man (in a generic sense, including woman)has identified himself endless groups, religious, nationalistic, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, etc. Once you separate ME from YOU on...
From What’s an Asian? Race and Identity for a New Generation
[…] […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
Some great tips here but not many working mothers could feed baby every hour especially if you work in a major multi-nationa...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
So true!!! Thanks for being so honest and self reflective. It's a proof of true characte...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
As a first-time mom I've spent the last two months of my four-month-old's life stressed out about her sleep and I recognize how crazy this is. It's clearly not working for me! I'm wondering how non-...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep

More from Our Bloggers