Cultural Exchange

Valentine’s Day in the USA

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to catch up with friends, like au pairs Lucas and Racquel.
Image courtesy of Lucas de Souza

Have you been seeing red and pink hearts, stuffed animals, and chocolates everywhere you go? It’s that time of the year – Valentine’s Day is upon us! Every year on February 14th, couples celebrate their relationships, children trade cards and candies with friends, family members exchange greetings, and single people plan alternative events in rebellion.

Valentine’s Day, much like many other holidays here in the United States, is a time for gifts and food! Every year, $18 billion dollars are spent on celebrating the holiday in the USA alone. The most commonly gifted items are candy, flowers, cards, jewelry, and dining out. If you’re planning to give a valentine gift, boxes of chocolates are popular choices. For a different alternative, you can try conversation hearts, which are small, sugary heart-shaped candies bearing messages such as “Be Mine” and “Cutie Pie.”

Valentine’s Day can also be a great day for children! Your host children will most likely want to distribute valentines, which are small cards, to their classmates and other friends at school. Valentines featuring beloved cartoon characters and other fun designs are available for purchase at many stores, but we love the idea of children creating their own for their parents, classmates, friends, and au pairs! Making valentine cards can be a great way for you to bond with your host children and to inspire their creativity.

When you’re talking with your friends instead of your host children, some of them might experience some stress about this day. Valentine’s Day can take extra energy – both for people who are in relationships and those who are not. People who are in relationships may find themselves worrying about whether or not their loved one will like the gifts and activities that they have planned. Single people sometimes feel excluded when the emphasis is on couples during this celebration of romantic love. We at InterExchange Au Pair USA encourage you to avoid any stressful thoughts regarding Valentine’s Day and to focus on the positive relationships you have in your life.

Regardless of whether or not you have a valentine, make it an opportunity to reach out to your family and friends in your home country, your Local Coordinator, and your host family and friends here in the U.S. We’re sure that you’re missed by people at home and loved by people here in the USA, and it’s always good to remind everyone in your life how much you care about them.

Happy Valentine’s Day from InterExchange Au Pair USA!

Joy Lo

Joy is a huge advocate for cultural exchange. She's lived across the U.S. and various countries around the world including the UK, Australia and Indonesia. She has a unique perspective on working and thriving in other cultures. She's been a contributing author on Au Pair USA program.