Like any school kid, I loved Valentine's Day. There was this whole ritual to elementary school valentine giving ...
First, you had to get your Mom to take you to the store to get a box of valentines. Then, you had to know exactly how many kids were in your class so you could make sure and get enough for everyone.
This vintage package of valentines only comes with 15 cards. In those days we had about 30 kids per class, on average, so that meant buying two packs. I can remember picking up the packages and shaking them from side to side...trying to see the cards underneath. I wanted to make sure I got just the right ones.
Once you got them home, you began the painstaking process of sorting through them and determining which of your classmates was going to get which card. This was serious business! Your best friends got the biggest and best cards, of course. There was only one "teacher" card in the pack, so that was an easy one.
The hard part came when you had to choose the cards for the boys in the class...
It was a complicated and delicate process. You didn't want to send the wrong message to the wrong boy-- especially if there was a boy in your class that you "liked"!
A card like this is a great example...
You would NEVER give this card to a boy you didn't "like" ! This card said you wanted to kiss them...at least that's what it meant to a 7 year old. Ewwwwww.....
In order to avoid such a calamity, you would go through your pack to find the cards that were the most generic and ambiguous and then save those for the rest of the boys.
Once you finished choosing, sorting and filling out your cards, there was nothing else to do but wait for the big day to arrive.
In the 70's, kids still dressed up for school functions...and the Valentine's Day party was no exception.
For us girls, this meant a dress, tights, and your "good" ( usually Sunday school) shoes.
The classroom would be decorated with all the construction paper hearts the class had made and sometimes the teacher would let you help her put up streamers. There would be table set up to hold all the wonderful confections that our moms would make for us to bring to school. In those days, you could still bring homemade sweets.
Moms would bring heart-shaped sugar cookies & pink frosted cupcakes and there would be fruit punch served in paper cups .
In today's mentality, people think , "Oh that's so unhealthy!" ...but what they don't remember is that it was a special occasion! We didn't eat that way all the time then. When I was a kid, it was a BIG DEAL to go out to eat. My Mom cooked all our meals at home.
When I look at my class pictures from those days, there is not one obese kid in them. Not one. So, I don't think our class parties contributed to childhood obesity.
Ok, off the soapbox ...
Earlier in the week, we would have made a large, construction paper envelope and decorated it with hearts , glitter , and paper lace doilies. The day of the party, we would tape it to the side of our desks.
Then, in an orderly fashion, we would take our valentines and walk up and down the rows of desks placing them in the envelopes.
To avoid chaos and hundreds of little white envelopes strewn about the classroom, we weren't allowed to open our valentines until we got home from school. Let me tell you...the anticipation of finding out if you received a "good card" from your boy of choice made the bus ride home that much longer.
After elementary school, the thrill of Valentine's Day began to fade for me. I just didn't care about it that much anymore. My husband and I give each other cards and candy..but we make an effort to do nice things for each other all year long. I like that he surprises me when it is not expected.
And, with all my love of seasonal and holiday decorating, I have never done a thing for Valentine's Day.
In the past few years, though, I have developed a love for these vintage valentines. Their sweet images and corny puns really put a smile on my face and remind me of those fun school days.
These "anthropomorphic" valentines are a particular favorite. If you are unfamiliar with the term, anthropomorphic means "giving human characteristics to non-human things". If you too have a soft spot for these types of cards, using "anthropomorphic" in ebay's or etsy's search box will help you find more of what you're looking for.
So this year, I think I will decorate for Valentine's Day. Just a small vignette here and there...nothing too carried away.
Somebody remind me that I said that when I am found knee-deep in a vintage valentine collection...okay?
Thanks for stopping by...