Or “Bee” My Valentine. No one is judging your cute, pun-filled Valentine card.
Way Back, In Allison’s Past…
When I was in elementary school, from Kindergarten until fourth grade (I don’t remember the exchange happening beyond that, or it was totally optional by then), there was the time-honored tradition of creating a mailbox and passing out Valentine’s Day cards to the other kids in class. Store brought or home made, we carefully printed our recipients’ and our own names on the back of the cards.
On February 14th (or thereabouts, if Valentine’s Day fell on the weekend, or the Friday of President’s Day), there would be a designated time to deliver the Valentines during a classroom party. Junk food and card exchanges, it’s like Christmas, but with hearts!
A few weeks before the holiday, the teachers would give us a list of the names of our classmates, and we would go about purchasing the Valentines for our class. I don’t remember what I gave out prior to the final year I handed out Valentines, but in fourth grade, my mom ordered Valentines from the Current catalog. They came with envelopes – how cool! I can’t remember specifically what they looked like (I’m sure pink and red with hearts, nothing totally obvious), but they had envelopes. They were like real letters!
I used to love giving out Valentines to my classmates – even if the little brats in my class didn’t deserve a Valentine, they still got one, because it was the rule of elementary school Valentine’s Day. Fourth grade was the last time I did it, and I had no problem not having to fill out Valentine’s cards anymore. It was fun while it lasted, and while kids were appreciative of them. It’s a shame that kids stopped being appreciative of them, but hey, kids.
Can’t imagine what this tradition is like today. Probably involves digital something of some kind.
So Many Ways To Say “Be Mine!”
The Valentines themselves were always cute – some came with candy (a card with a lollipop tucked into holes on the card), licensed characters, cute animals holding hearts – it was always fun to dump out the mailboxes and read the Valentines after they were delivered. Having grown up and gone to school during the late 1980s through the 1990s (I graduated high school in 2001), the best licensed character Valentines were a few years before my time, but the beauty of the internet is that wanting to see what kids gave as Valentines in the 1980s (and even into the 1990s) is a Google (or Pinterest) search away.
Because you know I live for looking up these kinds of treats, here are a few of my favorites, culled from multiple Pinterest searches.
Robots In Disguise…Of Their True Feelings!
I was trying to find Transformers Valentines, preferably Generation 1, because that’s what I was raised on. Optimus Prime holding a heart, Megatron and his bromance Starscream saying “be mine,” stuff like that. And just when I thought I came up short on finding the perfect Transformers Valentine, I found this one…
My happy geeky heart squeed a little bit – ok, alot – over seeing Bumblebee on a Valentine. I love Bumblebee the way I love Optimus Prime, if only because…he’s super adorable. True story – my husband and I watched Bumblebee over the summer, and when Bumblebee lost his voice and his memory, I screamed out (probably a little louder than I should have, but it’s the nostalgic geek in me) “Oh my God! That’s how he lost his voice!!!!!!” My husband, who is not really a Transformers fan, stared at me over my reaction. Like I said, it was louder than it should have been, but it answered what I didn’t already know about Bumblebee!
But this Valentine…he’s cute!!!
Gahhhh! So cute!!!!!
Heroes in a Half Shell, with Big, Full Hearts!
In addition to a deep love for robots with personalities and mad fighting skills, I was also into turtles with personalities and mad fighting skills. Michelangelo was my Turtle of choice, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was on my TV, in my brother’s toys, and currently part of my Funko Pop Collection.
And the best part (for my brother) about Christmas 1989.
I remember the Turtles being on Valentines given out by little boys in school (I’m pretty sure I got at least one in elementary school), but I found this one on Google, and Dudes, it’s time for Hugs and Kisses!
The Seas Are Shining Bright with All the Colors of The Rainbow On Valentine’s Day…
Rolls off the tip of your tongue when you think “what belongs on a Valentine’s Day greeting,” right?
Rainbow Bright and her friends (well, Canary Yellow, Buddy Blue, and Red Butler, because apparently they double date) love to share in some Valentine love. If I were in school when Rainbow Brite was popular, you can guarantee I would have been giving out Rainbow Brite Valentines to my classmates. They’re not too girly, since there are boys on it; therefore, these are the ones you give to the boys!
But if Rainbow Brite is just too girly for you, perhaps some colorful bears with hearts do more for you?
Care Bears Care About Valentine’s Day!
These are ridiculously cute, and so simple in their approach. I watched The Care Bears Family, and the movies they starred in (as well as those two early animated specials that still weird me out to this day). They’re not fancy, not throwing some huge, long-winded message of Valentine’s Day at you, but rather, a simple sentence and a few hearts. They’re not saccharin, not at all.
But, if you prefer something sweet…
Little girls, boys, and pets named after desserts deserve plenty of 1980s love. Strawberry Shortcake not only was cute and cuddly in her own special way, but if you ever had a doll from that collection, it smelled freakin’ amazing. My best friend gave me a Strawberry Shortcake (along with Custard) Funko Pop a few years ago, and she smelled so good. So did Custard. That smell lasted a long time, way longer than it had any right to last.
Again, these are the kind of Valentines I would have given out, without regard to the fact that boys were always included in giving out these cards. And to them, I say…
Huckleberry Pie WAS A BOY!
I loved Popples when I was four years old. I had three Popples – one big plush, one smaller plush, and one of those pocket-sized plushie/vinyl hybrids, and I had pajamas. I’ve watched the “movie,” the cartoon, and I still think they’re cute to this day, even if I don’t have any of my Popples to prove my love.
I have come to the realization that I would have been hard pressed to pick a freakin’ set of Valentines Day cards, had I been given the choice. For me, 1985-1986 was all about Rainbow Brite, Jem, Popples, and She-Ra. I would have been all about giving out these choice Valentines to my classmates.
Oh, and did I say She-Ra?
She-Ra: Princess of Powerful Stickers!
I think I’ve chosen the Valentines I would have given out to my classmates. She-Ra and stickers…you can never go wrong with bonuses on you Valentines!
Of course, knowing me, I would probably have given out Valentine with California Raisins on them. Apparently I was into that when I was five, because I had a California Raisins nightgown.
It’s over 30 years later, and I don’t understand why this was so popular. Were five-year-olds into Motown or something?
And Now, You!
What kind of Valentines did you give your “Valentines” at school? Did you have the tradition of making mailboxes and delivering your mail to the other kids in class? Did you give out any of these Valentines?
I’d love to hear your stories of Valentine’s Day past!
We’re a few days away from Valentine’s Day, as the Month of Love keeps on going. I’ve got commercials and a Valentine’s Day treat coming up for you this week. As for the rest of the month, I have more music and nostalgia-heavy articles coming. When I celebrate a holiday, it overtakes the entire month!
Have a great day!