Staff photo

On Wednesday I brought my 3rd grade daughter at Maplecrest School a simple arrangement of 3 elegant roses and a favorite meal for lunch. I was blindsided. I clearly hadn’t met this newly established threshold of school Valentine spending and gifting madness. It looked like a flower shop in the the entrance hallway to the school (see photo) as gifts were staged and segregated into classrooms for a later planned parties. Other parents meeting their children for lunch also shook their heads in disbelief as the elaborate arrangements replete with favorite treats and toys, and of course, topped off with Mylar balloons.

Something has changed. When I was a kid some 40 years ago, school Valentine’s celebrations consisted of trading those simple perforated cards often with Peanuts cartoon figures and cute sayings. Not so much anymore here in Lebanon.

I spoke to a florist today and she said spending of $100 was not uncommon for school arrangements from parents and grandparents.

That is over-the-top. We need to get a grip. It seems to have become a competition.

I am sure for many students, Wednesday was the highlight of the week as they received these amazing presents from loved ones.

But for other children, maybe those less than fortunate economically, I fear it was the worst day of the week as they looked around at what others had gotten and they realized they had little or nothing. I sincerely hope none them felt they were less loved by their parents and family.

Like many things, what may have begun with admirable and good intentions has been wrecked by irresponsibility and the desire, I think,  to outdo someone else.

This madness needs to stop. And by the way, I talked to several teachers and they also hate the distraction. Let’s keep this extension of the celebration at home and go back to those cheap dorky cards.