Through much of modern history, we have set aside February 14th as a special day to collectively show our love and affection to those we fondly regard in our lives. For the adults of the world, it’s a day of chocolates and cupids, of roses and romance, of candlelight dinners and diamonds. For the younger among us, things have always been a bit more innocent and, thankfully, inexpensive. But, whether you loved it or loathed it as a kid, the mere mention of Valentine’s Day is certain to bring back memories of crushes and candy and classroom activities – childhood traditions that endure to this day.
For the braver among us, Valentine’s Day was a day to profess your undying love to the classmate you had eyed for the better part of the year. For the rest of us, however, it was simply a day when scholastic studies were set aside while we partied in celebration of a Saint most of us knew little to nothing about. We ate cookies and candies, including those ever-popular Sweethearts, and passed out valentines to our peers, for better or worse. Back in the day, those cards were almost-always thoughtfully crafted by our own hands (unlike the pre-printed cards that have grown more popular in recent years).
We made little mailboxes out of shoe boxes to receive our bounty of correspondence, and, occasionally, even little giftbags with sweets and trinkets. And most schools had a policy that, if you brought valentines to class, you had to bring them for everyone (meaning that you couldn’t willfully exclude those for whom you held less affection). A fair policy, even if it was always weird to hand a card to someone you pretty much despised for the rest of the year. Still, it was a day that most of us looked forward to, if for no other reason than that holidays (especially candy-laden ones) were in short supply this time of year.
Of course, once we reached middle school and high school, and our hormones kicked in, we forgot all about group activities and classroom parties. Those days gave way to amorous pursuits and gifts that would become more expensive as we made our journey into adulthood. But back in the simpler days of childhood, most of us just thought Valentines Day to be a pretty cool holiday, one whose memories would stay with us for a very long time.
Now we want to hear how you spent Valentine’s Day as a kid. What were the school activities you looked forward to each year, and what were the parts you would rather forget? Were you ever shot by Cupid’s arrow, or were you the one taking aim? Share all of the traditions and memories in our comments section and help us recall what made this day a special part of childhood.