When I was in school, as I’m sure it was for many of you, Valentine’s Day was a huge event! We exchanged Valentine cards with every single child in our class, whether we were actually friends or not. Cards were usually bought at your nearest department store or grocery store, and there were no less than 32 cards per pack.
Each pack of cards contained some special ones and some not-so-special ones. Of course, the “coolest” cards were saved for our best friends! There were even special “teacher” cards, which were usually a little bigger and a little more aptly worded.
Some cards had built-in sucker holders! How cool was it to get a card that had a sucker, or a Hershey’s Kiss, or some other small candy attached? Some mom’s made their kids give these to every child, again, whether they liked them or not. Boy, those were the days!
You always knew whether a card was from a boy or a girl, just by the characters on them. Batman, Spiderman, and other superhero cards were always from the boys, while princess cards or My Little Pony was always from the girls.
The All-Important Valentine Box
I don’t know if it was commonplace for everyone, but we made special boxes to receive our cards in where I grew up. Some of us spent the better part of a week making all the final touches and getting everything just right.
A shoebox was what most of us started with, covering it with some kind of special wrapping paper or construction paper. Some kids couldn’t afford those things, and so a few were covered with the comics section of the Sunday newspaper.
Looking back on it, even though we all knew those kids weren’t as “well-off” as some, we never EVER made fun of them! Bullying was one thing we all dealt with back then – in a MUCH different way than now – but on Valentine’s Day, even the meanest and nastiest children wouldn’t go that far.
Anyway, our boxes were covered, with a nicely placed slit in the top cover for cards to be deposited. I think we all made them a little larger than usual, just in case we got a sucker card! Some boxes were specially adorned with construction paper hearts or other add-on’s that really made us the talk of the class that day.
Taking The Valentine Boxes Home
Of course, we were given a little time to look over the cards we received while still in school. But getting them home was a special time indeed. We got to share them with our moms, telling them who we liked and didn’t like and then being scolded for our snobbery.
Sometimes we had to write thank you cards. I think that’s such a lost art, don’t you? Teaching children such manners at a young age? Now it seems almost unthinkable to expect such grown-up behavior from children. I think we might need to step back and re-evaluate!
It Was A Different World
Taking it all into consideration and looking back on how things were, I have to wonder, how did the world change so much? I really have trouble sometimes trying to figure out how we got from “there” to “here,” but I guess every generation goes through something like that.
With all the things going wrong in the world, we have to keep things in perspective. Now, most of us have grown up and had children of our own. They’re like our own little Valentine’s Boxes, aren’t they? Gorgeous, well taken care of, and adorned the best we know how.
It’s almost like paying it forward these days. We put our very best into them and send them out into the world. Those Valentine Boxes from school-days gone by were so very special on that one day.
But these little Valentine Boxes that God gave us, we can fill with love every single day.
Let’s give them something to celebrate!