I don’t think they do this any more. I know Aaron never had to make one, but then again he may have opted not to. It was something that was a chronic source of personal disappointment for me when I was in school. The making of a Valentine’s Day box. You see back then we had a Valentine’s Day party at school. You made a box to put on your desk during the party for friends to drop Valentine cards into. Later grades 3rd and 4th I think, there was a contest for favorite box. I read this as best box, prettiest box, most popular box. I so wanted this honor. I never achieved it, never came close.
What I remember about one year was I wanted to do a lacy one with tissue and a mirror. There were to be cut out red letters. You see in the middle covered in the fluff of white just below the slot where all my cards would go I would glue the mirror and make a ruffle boarder. The red letters would spell out “My Valentine” around the mirror and everyone who looked down to drop my cards would see themselves. BRILLIANT! I thought. I could envision it much as Ralphie did his A++++++++ essay in A Christmas Story. C’mon close your eyes you can see this glorious idea yourself! It was sure to win. However in execution it failed. Glue melts tissue. The red of the letters bled to the white tissue. The mirror was warped so my Valentine looked like a funny house image. **SIGH** Somehow I could see it but I just couldn’t do it.
Do I think this scared me? NO! I still have fond memories of getting cards. I loved the party and making plans for a better box this year than the last, even if it wasn’t what I saw in my mind’s eye. I think like Ralphie the dreaming of the box and the party was more fun than actually getting it. It’s the anticipation, the possibilities, and in the end having fun with my friends. I learned later a way to get my ideas out to others. Which is why I write fiction today, I can see life on Mars, ghosts driving CIA agents away, and more but can’t really do it. But if I develop my writing talent I can share that image with you, just as I shared the image of my mirror Valentine box. So in the end, I got something better than Favorite Box – I got cards from friends, a party day, and a way to share things. Seems a win- win in the end to me.