I grew up in rural southwestern Ontario. Until the end of Grade 5, I went to school at Puddleford, otherwise known as S.S. #14 Howard—a one-room elementary school which taught all eight grades.
In early February, the Valentine’s Box sat on the teacher’s desk. The teacher covered a large cardboard box with red construction paper and decorated it with paper doily “lace” hearts. There was a slot on top to drop in the Valentines.
Tradition dictated that you give everyone a Valentine so no one was left out. Since the enrollment was only ever about 20 students, it did not mean a lot of Valentines were needed.
Every February my mother bought a “book” of Valentines and my brothers and sisters and I spent a lot of time cutting out the little cards. The book came with pages of envelopes that also needed to be cut out along the dotted lines, folded, and glued with mucilage.
We signed the cards, put them in the sometimes unevenly made envelopes, addressed them and brought them to school. Everyone stuffed their Valentines in the box. A couple of the older children sorted and distributed the cards.
That afternoon we brought home the Valentines we’d received and counted how many were the same. There were a lot of duplicates since most of the Valentine books had been bought at the one general store in the nearby town.
Did you remember Valentine books in grade school? Were you able to make envelopes with nice square corners? Do you know what mucilage is?
Heart from bigstockphoto.com #39232588
Scissors from bigstockphoto.com #47364538
Mucilage from old craft box