Valentines I wanted as a child
Feel Like a Kid Again!
As a child, I love the Valentine's Day valentine exchange at school. Carefully selecting the best, but not so obvious, valentine for your crush... having a ton of candy at school... what could be better?
There is nothing wrong with getting this feeling back as adults. At my college, they had to ban sending of Valentines through the campus mail because it created too much work for a free delivery system. So it was then up to us to slip Valentines under the doors of our friends. In graduate school, I enjoyed choosing silly cartoon Valentines to share with my colleagues.
Valentine's day can be a romantic holiday, but is also an opportunity to make those around you smile. Hopefully this lens will help bring some of the child-like Valentine's Day spirit back into your heart!
Not all schools had a requirement that everyone brings enough valentines for the entire class, so this really changed the experience for people.
Did you exchange Valentines in school?
SweetTarts Candy Hearts
As a child, I was never a huge fan of the spearmint flavor in the standard candy hearts. If you really wanted to wow me, you would bring SweetTarts Hearts to the class Valentine exchange! These were a flavor of candy that I loved, but still had the fun Valentine's Day phrases on the hearts. (Best of both worlds, right?)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Ultimate Valentines
I never watched a lot of it, but TMNT was wildly popular when I was young. My best friends were twin boys, so even if I didn't watch a show like this I sure learned a bit about it! (Their mom gave me the largest barbie sets each year for my birthday until I was 13... but I digress)
Today, Valentine's like this bring me back. It wasn't something that I was really a part of myself, so I wouldn't be able to tell you much about the characters or the plots, but they certainly make me feel like a kid again!
The best part about these kinds of paper Valentines is that they are appropriate to give to acquaintances without accidentally sending the wrong message (as long as they know you gave them to everyone!)
Sesame Street - Not Just Elmo's World
From babysitting, I've realized that Sesame Street has undergone some drastic changes since I used to watch it growing up. Elmo, who has always been popular, has become the star of the show. Back in the day, if you were to say there was a star you would say Big Bird, but a lot of the characters got more equal time. Now it seems that there is an Elmo only segment at the end of each show!
You can find stuffed valentine's day characters other than Elmo. This may not be something that I'd buy for myself right now, but if I were shopping for a child I know it would be a winner! (Or if you have a child "shopping" for a parent's Valentine... this would be super cute!)
Hugs and Kisses
Growing up, my mom was very into homemade things. The only times we ever purchased our Halloween costumes were when my parents brought tiger outfits back form Japan and when my mom was ill right before the holiday.
Valentine's day was no exception for homemade items. When I was in 5th grade, under her direction, I took a huge piece of heart shaped cloth (similar to the one I show below), and using her sewing machine made a series of little pouches. I then filled each one with Hershey's Kisses.
Whether you make the bags yourself, or you just give a little simple classic candy, you are sure to bring smiles to everyone!
Something for Everyone
In my elementary school, you had to bring a card for everyone in the class or not bring cards at all.
Valentines Card Mailbox
Another great moment in school was when we started making our Valentine's Day mailboxes to hang on our desks. Some years they would be shoe boxes we had to bring from home, other years they would be crafted out of white paper bags. I've wished for a long time that we could get together with our friends and create mailboxes, but it is not really practical to assemble everyone two days in a row for an exchange like this.
In stead, a good idea would be a cookie exchange, where everyone can decorate a box to bring home the sweets in their lovely container! (Or better yet, each person decorates one for someone else... sort of a "secret valentine.")
Lollipops and Roses
The red heart shaped lollipops always made an appearance at school. These were frequently giving out by the boys who were still grossed out by Valentine's Day. When they had sayings on them, the girls in the class would try to read a lot into the saying on the sucker (although you cannot really do much about "Just Friends!")
When in doubt, bring on the stickers!
My girlfriends and I were obsessed with stickers in elementary school. We would collect as many as we could find, never really using them but having them on the tiny tear off sheets of paper you would get a specialty stores. Whenever a valentine came with a removable sticker... well we couldn't really get much more excited than that!
You can't really have Valentine's Day without glitter. I don't think we really used glitter glue pens when I was in elementary school, so this meant that through dusting your creation with glitter, it ended up everywhere and would remain in your hair for days. (When the moms weren't looking this would be done on purpose!) To this day, I enjoy using a bit of glitter to spice up my Valentine's Day cheer, although I think I will stick to the glue kind!