Lately on Facebook and other social media, a blog post has been circulating about how holiday celebrations for what used to be minor holidays (or not holidays at all) have gotten out of control. I'm not going to link to the blog - if you have elementary school-age children you probably know which one I'm talking about, and if you don't, you probably don't care.
Anyway, the main point of the post was that "over-achieving" parents that make a party out of St. Patrick's Day, Pi Day, Arbor Day and the third Monday of every month are making life hard for the parents who don't want to do that stuff. In fact, I just re-read the blog today and there's an addendum that basically says that - "You should do whatever you want at home, but don't do it where my kids can see it, because then they're disappointed that I didn't do it." The addendum also implies that anyone who was offended by the original post is probably offended because they're That Parent and they should rethink their choices.
(I wasn't terribly offended, but I admit I was a little perplexed, and somewhat annoyed. I realize that some people reading this may well think I'm That Parent. I make homemade Valentine's Day cards, I replicate things I found on Pinterest, and yes, I even give goody bags at birthday parties. Everyone should feel free to get their stones ready to throw.)
So the main problem, from what I can gather from the blog and comments thereto, is not the over-commercialization of formerly religious holidays (see, e.g. Easter) or creation of made up holidays (see, e.g. Pi Day), but that my doing something I enjoy, for my kid who also enjoys it, is causing your kids to have unrealistic expectations of you. And if that's your real problem, I honestly don't care. Last time I checked, it was not my duty to make sure that everything I do is exactly in line with what you would do, so that your children don't expect something they can't or won't get.
This is called parenting, folks. Don't want to give out homemade Valentine's Day cards or throw a birthday party for every kid in the class? Don't. If your kid asks why not, you need to explain to them that every family does things differently, and you family does (or doesn't do) X, Y or Z. If you object to candy in Valentine's Day cards, take it away and tell your kid your family doesn't eat candy. Don't want to do the creepy Elf on a Shelf thing? Don't do it, and feel free to tell your child that your family doesn't want any creepy looking elves around. (In the interest of full disclosure, we have a creepy elf - sometimes she does Pinterest stuff, mostly she just moves from place to place - and my child loves her.)
It's not my job to manage your children's expectations - it's yours. And it's not anyone's job to make sure your child never has unrealized expectations or disappointments. Life is full expectations that aren't fulfilled, and the world is full of people who are going to get something your kid doesn't get. Trying to prevent your kid from ever wanting without getting is just as damaging as giving them everything they ever want.
Your children have to learn to live in a world that doesn't conform to your or their expectations, and it's your job as a parent to help them do that. There are tons of things out there that my child sees other kids getting or doing and doesn't get or do. And until people stop letting their kids watch crappy Nick Jr. television shows, when I want my kid to only watch PBS Kids, or eating fast food, when I make mine eat organic fruits and vegetables, or hell, stop having more than one kid, so my only child will stop expecting a sibling, I'm not going to stop making homemade Lego-shaped gummies for class Valentine's Day cards. If you don't want your kid to have them, that's okay. Throw them away, and explain why - because that's your job, not mine.
And by the way, if you came for a fashion post, I apologize that your expectations were not realized. Check back tomorrow, though - I'll have photos of the shoes I custom made for the Bomber and his classmates using leather I tanned myself from a calf I raised from birth.