Monday, February 13, 2012

Homeschooling & St Valentine's Day

Christmas decorations are up on November 1st around here. My kids hear me grumble about proper observance of liturgical seasons while we are shopping or driving to an activity, but then a little voice will pipe up in the cart or the back seat and say, "It's pretty!" Yes, Virginia, the decorations are pretty and such a relief from the terrorizing Halloween decor we must endure from Labor Day until the end of October. So while we don't prepare the house for Christmas so early, when we are out and about, I'll stop grumbling.

This is LOVE

St Valentine's Day can be this way, too. I can grumble about the horrid commercialization of a minor feast day- and what happened to the word 'Saint' on all those cards? I won't even begin to analyze the sadness of a culture that separates love and sex, making temporary romantic feelings higher than committed, lifelong married love. I can only pray that even the word LOVE that is so pervasive in February might encourage someone's subconscious to remember that God is love. In the meantime, I will make heart-shaped pancakes.

This is LOVE

For a homeschooling family, Saint Valentine's Day can be a difficult day to be home. We remember the glitter-covered shoe boxes that friends would stuff cards into and the special treats that the teacher would distribute. We might forget that a lot of the 'popular' girls failed to give a Valentine, but we remember that our best friend came through with an extra-big card that couldn't even fit in the slot. But as homeschooling parents, we don't have to lose out on the positive aspects of tradition. In my 'little Catholic bubble,' our park day balloons from 25 to 40 or more families for the St Valentine's Day park day. Class lists are emailed and the children prepare cards for their class and other special friends. Tables are set up with bags and the kids put the cards in and then wait until it's time to get their bags. It's also a potluck, so the families get plenty of treats. This is a day that my children look forward to all year. Their memories of their childhood St Valentine's Days will be much more positive than mine, I hope.

this is LOVE

Tomorrow is St. Valentine's Day. Rebel against the anti-Valentine's-Day rebellion of "I love every day so why do I need a commercialized holiday" philosophy. If you homeschool and your plans are to stay home, why not meet another family for some chicken nuggets? Bring a box of chocolates for dessert. and then, make a special dinner for the family even if the husband is one of those "I love you every day" types. Argh- I am not asking that he buy overpriced red roses and a 'hoodie footie,' but a mixed bouquet from Trader Joe's (they don't gouge- visit TJs if you have one) and a delicious bottle of Baileys- nice. Just don't forget a token for your knight in shining armor. I say, let's reclaim yet another holy day.

this is LOVE

3 comments:

  1. Preoteasa,

    I think that St Valentine's day is a good thing, and the reason that it is so popular is that it provides a higher view of relationships that is offered by the secular world around us. I have even seen it argued that Romantic Love arose in a Christian culture, and that a Christian culture was necessary for it (long argument, will not try to repeat it here).

    We should be reassured that people want more from relationships than is offered by the contemporary world (if you want to know how bad it is, just read Gail Dines). People need more than physical pleasure or temporary romantic feelings: behind the pink of the day is a real desire for long term, committed and loving relationships.

    As Christians, we should be on the front foot here, reminding people of the value of love, including romantic and physical love.

    Reading Butler's Lives of the Saints, this comment is interesting:

    "To abolish the heathen's lewd superstitious custom of boys drawing the names of girls, in honour of their goddess Februata Juno, on the 15th of this month, several zealous pastors substituted the names of saints in billets given on this day."

    So perhaps in the porn soaked, lewd culture we are in, we can use this day to point to something better.

    As for the "I love you every day" grouches I would say: you love your mother everyday - does this mean that you do nothing for her birthday? And isn't is good that we can celebrate with every nation, tribe and tongue: a common humanity that desires more than is offered by the modern world?

    And for home schoolers, surely it is an opportunity to discuss love, relationships and the physical expression of this?

    Just a few random thoughts...

    Bear

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  2. If one never attended traditional school, how would they really know what they were missing? Personally, I never saw 2/14 as a fun day in school. I hated not getting many Valentines from classmates when I was in the lower grades, then when we got to middle/high school and even college, I never got carnations or roses delivered from friends or a secret admirer.

    If my kids aren't "popular" I might keep them home from school that day, just to save them the sadness. I know that comment itself is sad, but kids are cruel.

    DH & I say I love you all of the time (and mean it!) but I still get him a little something for today. A card and a few of his favorite candies--none of which are in "special" holiday packaging. It's good when your husband likes gummy things--sour watermelons and gummy worms, coming right up! :)

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  3. When I was growing up in the 60s the deal was that you brought a Valentine's Day card for EVERYONE - and the teachers didn't tell us that = PARENTS did. Now that didn't mean you didn't get a few special ones for your closest friends = you did. But it was a light hearted day.

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