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Valentine's Day for American children today

Customers shop at the Jacques Torres Chocolate Heaven store February 13, 2008 in New York City. More and more children are hoping for candy attached to their classroom valentines.

Adriene Hill: It's Valentine’s Day -- which can be thrilling or mortifying, especially if you're a kid hoping for a valentine from your crush. It can also be expensive if you're a parent.

KJ Dell'Antonia, an author of the New York Times Motherlode blog, has been helping her kids get ready for the big day. Good morning K.J.

KJ Dell’Antonia: Good morning!

Hill: So what do classroom Valentine’s Day celebrations look like these days?

Dell’Antonia: Well I think the rule in every classroom right now is one valentine per kid, no exceptions.

Hill: So I’ve got to give a valentine to every one, even my enemy?

Dell’Antonia: Even your archest-enemy. I do believe they’re allowed to be snarky but you know you’d probably have to create that yourself.

Hill: Now are we talking about paper valentines or have phones and technology infiltrated elementary school Valentine’s Day parties yet?

Dell’Antonia: You know, I don’t think phones and technology have infiltrated. What has infiltrated is candy. We are not talking paper valentines, we are talking wrapped candy.

Hill: And is that going to be a majority of what gets handed out do you think?

Dell’Antonia: I don’t know majority hmm. It’s probably at least half. The kids really, having seen a valentine with candy, they immediately appear the next year. Even if you make your own, “I want to stick a Hershey kiss on my valentine” so they like to make it a little present.

Hill: Now what do your kids make of the one-valentine-for-every-kid rule?

Dell’Antonia: It’s not that it’s occurred to them to question it, it’s that two of them are quite small and they’re in large preschool classrooms. They get a little tired after about the 9th or 10th and it becomes a bit of a chore.

Hill: Well Happy Valentine’s Day to you and thanks so much.

Dell’Antonia: Happy Valentine’s Day, Adriene.

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.

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