The nature of retail is to remind the consumer of the next major holiday that requires at least one or two purchases. So far no gifts are exchanged on Martin Luther King Day, but I am sure it is being worked on. In the meantime, the next giving holiday is Valentine’s Day. As an adult, the day for lovers can bring strong feelings on many spectrums. From the lonely night at home, the husband who lacks imagination, and the restaurants that are overcrowded and overpriced serving mediocre food to the anticipation of first Valentine’s together, a nice piece of jewelry. Best of all – maybe a great night IN.
I am nervous about saying this as I am sure it will only confirm your earlier suspicions that I am a dweeb, but here I go anyway (isn’t the purpose of the blog to help facilitate one to bare all secrets to complete strangers?). I have been happily married for nearly two decades and courted for a number of years before that. I have had romantic cards made for me, expensive dinners in fancy cities. I have enjoyed champagne and chocolates. (And some years I have crashed in front of the tv.)
But I have never anticipated the thrill of Valentine’s Day more than I did in elementary school. The making of the special Valentine’s Day mailbox. Doilies. Glue. Stickers. Red and pink crayons. The classroom party with sugar cookies and icing. The Valentine’s Day card from every person in the class. Best part…the end of the day when the bell rang and I could race home and safely begin to sort through my cards. Looking for signs of requited love from secret crushes, promises of BEST friends from my pals, and foiled covered chocolates from the kids whose moms had discovered another way to demonstrate their superiority (apologies if you are that mom – it is from envy that I speak.)
While the Valentine’s excitement for my kids has been a motivator – it is not always the motivator I need to stay on the ball and hit the stores before only “those Valentines” are left. We have run the gamut. We have had no choice but to buy Sponge Bob cards at 7:00 pm on Feb. 13th. And we have doled out a small fortune (even with my Michael’s coupons) to purchase all sorts of decorative materials to make 50+ cards at home (two kids and I am NOT that craft mom!) We have bought double packs so we could sift out the ones that say awkward things that kids don’t want to say to other kids for fear of being shunned. And if I am on the ball in a given year, we have bought foil covered chocolates to attach to the Valentine’s (what is up with the Necco hearts? Nostalgia, yes. Taste good? Never did!)
Imagine my excitement when I was the buyer for the children’s bookstores and I discovered not one – but two great lines that were designed with moms like me in mind. Okay, I am not positive they were designed specifically with me in mind but I do know that they help mom’s like me shine. And with a true Hollywood ending to this love story, I now rep not one – but both of these lines! And I am telling you, they are the best Valentine card lines EVER!
For those who like the idea of having your kids make their own cards, Made by Hands Valentine’s Kit is for you! It come complete with cards and all of the components your kids will need to make a classroom full of hand decorated cards. Done. All in one box. Thank you very much! The cards are adorable and other moms will definitely mutter things about how you set the bar too high – it is a win-win!
And for those who want something cute and not handmade looking – Peaceable Kingdom has the best line of Valentine Cards to which they added a second tier this year. The first grouping has things like scratch and sniffs, and tattoos, all with cute graphics, not-ackward text, and sweet little envelopes to put each one in.
Their second tier is without envelopes and therefore retails at a lower price.
All awesome options for the moms who know how magical Valentine’s cards can be! And why do I write this blog with 46 shopping days left until Valentine’s Day. To gently nudge you so you don’t find yourself in line the night before with the Sponge Bob Valentine’s in your hand. You’re welcome.
Made By Hands lists store locations on their website. Check with the ASTRA site to find independent stores that may be carrying Peaceable Kingdom.