Remember being a young child in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day? You may have decorated a brown paper lunch bag with bold red hearts that you’d carefully cut out of construction paper with your safety scissors. The bag would be taped to the front edge of your desk—a hopeful receptacle for the 30 or so little Valentine cards delivered by your classmates—maybe even a small box of Brach’s “Conversation Heart” candies with little pink messages on them from your teacher.
You’d proudly bring the bag home and empty the cards onto the kitchen table to show your mother, then sort them. A pile from your friends and a pile for the others. Your teacher and each of your classmates would have received a card from you as well; one from an assortment that you’d personally chosen among the many boxes displayed at the store. If you were like me, you printed your name so carefully on the first few cards, then less so as the novelty began to wear off.
When was the last time you received a card or a letter hand addressed to you, in a script you recognized and were eager to open? I’ll admit, I’ve been remiss in not sending Christmas cards the past few years and I particularly regret not making the effort this last holiday, in light of the isolation the pandemic has imposed on our families and friends.
More meaningful than an email or a text message, a handwritten note or cheerful card can brighten someone’s day. Venturing out to Trader Joes? They make it so easy to add a card (and a small package of dark chocolate peanut butter cups!) to your shopping cart. Don’t let your writing muscle atrophy! Pick up your pen and let a loved one know that you’re thinking about them. Their mailbox is waiting.
Happy Valentine’s Day!