6 Activities to Bring Back the Old-School Feeling of Exchanging Valentines

published Feb 10, 2022
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When recalling memories of grade school days, there was one holiday that you may have anticipated above all. Of course, it was fun to celebrate the holidays or dress up for Halloween, but when it came to matters of the heart, February 14 ranked on top. Finding out if that special someone gave you a Valentine — or secretly giving one to your crush — gave a rush of adrenaline like nothing else. Of course, now that you’re grown up, those days are long gone, but they don’t have to be.

Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating, and with love and friendship as your basis, you can focus on others this year while evoking a bit of elementary school nostalgia. As an adult, it’s good to channel your inner child every once in a while. So, get ready to be creative and crafty as you surprise friends, family, and even strangers on the day that celebrates all kinds of love. From hand-making cards to leaving surprises for co-workers, here are six feel-good ideas for bringing back the ambiance of childhood Valentine’s Days.

Hand-craft Valentine’s Day cards.

Seize the opportunity to be creative, and make your own Valentine’s Day greeting cards. Head to the Valentine section of your local craft store to find paper lace doilies, glitter, and heart stickers to construct your cards. And remember, kitschy is key, so maximize the cuteness by layering embellishments and adding punny sayings appropriate for the recipient. 

Stuff goodie bags for your co-workers.

Part of the fun of exchanging elementary school Valentines was going home with a bag of candy and treats at the end of the day. It’s easy to bring back that feeling by putting together small treat bags for your office mates. Purchase several different boxes of Valentine’s cards — many come with candy to eliminate a step — and make small goodie bags to hand out. Leave them on individual desks or place them inside a basket in the break room.

Give gift baskets to your BFFs.

Another option is to go all out for your closest friends and design a few large gift baskets. Although you can budget as much as you’d like, don’t feel you need to overspend, as making folks feel loved is what Valentine’s Day is about. Fill the baskets with Valentine’s decor, chocolates, and other candies. If you choose to give a more luxe basket, include bath bombs, a bottle of rosé, and a few personal gifts tailored to their interests.

Send flowers to loved ones.

Use the element of surprise to your advantage, and send flowers to family members. It doesn’t matter if they live in town or far away. Either use a national delivery service or call a florist in their area to deliver a lovely bouquet. If you go this route, be sure to get your order in ahead of time, as Valentine’s Day is always busy for florists. Imagine the look on the faces of your parents, siblings, or grandparents as they receive an unexpected gift.

Host a Valentine’s Day exchange.

Don’t discount the fact that you actually can trade Valentines with others. To organize an office exchange, place paper bags, foam hearts, and Valentine’s stickers in the break room so that everyone can decorate their own bag. On Valentine’s Day, everyone can bring in their goodies to swap. Another option is to host a get-together at your house where guests bring miniature cards to trade. Everyone can make their own Valentine boxes at home, and you can give a prize to the most lavishly decorated one. Complete your party by serving plenty of red heart-shaped appetizers and a fruity, pink punch.

Practice random acts of kindness.

You never know how Valentine’s Day impacts other people. Perhaps they’re in a strained relationship, or they could be newly single and hurting from a breakup. Go about your day with the mindset of brightening the days of others. Even something as simple as randomly passing out children’s Valentine’s cards can put a smile on someone’s face. So carry cards around, and give them to store clerks, your Uber driver, your doorman, and whoever else you encounter on February 14.