My fondest memories of Valentine’s Day bring me back to Spring Valley Elementary School where I was a student. As the day approached our teachers always allowed for the making of cards. Any art activity was welcomed by me. I didn’t care if it was holiday or study related. Even in the early days I liked to cut, arrange and paste. I think I usually brought these creations home to give to my parents. We would also bring small cards to exchange with our fellow classmates. It wasn’t about romance back then and pretty much never was. Rather, for me it was more about getting mail. I treasured a correspondence I had with my older cousin June. It was so exciting to get a letter from her. I hope that young children get to enjoy that feeling before the Postal Service is no more and email and texting will be their only source or written communication. A letter or note from a loved one still brightens my day. Anyway, on Valentine’s Day we placed our cards in a decorated box, complete with slot. Late in the afternoon, after all the regular subjects had been covered, our teacher would open the box and these little gems would be delivered to our desks. I can’t remember how that came about, but I’m sure we weren’t moving around a lot. Some sugary treat would be provided by the teacher and class mother and I would leave school that day with Valentines in hand to be viewed over and over again.
I remember the ritual still taking place when our now adult children were young. I’m not sure either of them enjoyed it as much as I did and I know for sure that during the teen years St. Valentine was not honored at all. In fact, my daughter used to create clever black valentines to distribute to other disgruntled “singles” who also would not be celebrating the day.
I’d like to think that Valentine’s Day is more about being a loving person rather than being loved by someone. Yes, I am aware that the greeting card companies have long capitalized on the holiday. I still send a few cards out and probably won’t be getting any in return. That doesn’t bother me at all. Today I spent the morning creating a heart collage. February issues of magazines can’t help but include a great number of heart motifs. This certainly made it easier to collect the inspiration for my collage. It is my valentine for all my family and friends. May your heart be filled with happiness , health and yes, love.