Why do we not give valentines anymore?

For years now I’ve been asking myself a very important question: why do we not give out valentines anymore? It’s not an existential question by any means, but every time the holiday rolls around I tend to think about it. Truthfully, I used to live for Valentine’s Day and for my little 11-year-old self, this day was a big deal.

I remember, at my elementary school we used to decorate boxes to hold our valentines the day or two before, and on the day of, everyone’s boxes would adorn their tables, awaiting the gifts from fellow classmates.

There was nothing quite like the rush of slipping a card professing your feelings to your crush, or the thrill of reading every card back at home, excited to see who gave you what.

Since we were young, schools sent out restrictions: no food items. Still, the selection was endless. From temporary tattoos to scented stickers, to cool erasers, to window gummies. Anything and everything was given out. This year, I noticed a new type of valentine while browsing online: valentines pop-its.

The Valentine’s day process was a whole operation within itself. First, everyone would search for the coolest, most unique valentines they could find. Then came the laborious task of putting together the cards or boxes and individually labeling each one, because every one of the 30 students had to receive one. Then, of course, making sure they arrive safely. And lastly, the distribution. It was a hassle, for sure, but it was also rewarding.

During middle school the idea of Valentine’s day was repulsive, and by the time we reached high school, the holiday was long abandoned.

And along the way, we lost the reason we used to celebrate this day: to feel connected to other people, platonically or romantically.

Valentine’s Day used to be such a fun holiday, and not just because I used to come home with 20 gifts. Sure, the gifts were great, but I mostly enjoyed seeing my friends happy to receive the valentines that I put together for them. The whole day was full of excitement and I loved being able to show my appreciation for my closest friends.

And so, this year I’ve decided I’m getting back in the game: I sent my mom out to CVS and got some valentines boxes with conversation hearts to give out to my friends.

Maybe this is me feeling too old as a senior and looking for a way to feel like a child again, or maybe this is just nostalgia, but I’ve decided it’s time to bring back this tradition into my life.