I don't have a dislike for Valentines Day. Actually, I'm pretty neutral, most years. My parents have always done very sweet things for me - like buying flowers or getting us little bitty chocolate boxes (not like a friend I had growing up whose very, very mean mother used to tell her that Valentines Day was only for people who loved eachother!) I can only remember one Valentines Day that I had a boyfriend - he got me a small, white gorilla (I don't have any idea why a gorilla), a giant heart-shaped candy box, and a red rose. While I appreciate the gesture, I'd rather get something more personalized, or get nothing at all.
What I do love, however, is passing out Valentines. I wish this was a tradition that carried into your high school and college years - I remember many many years in school where we made the woven heart baskets, or decorated shoeboxes with wrapping paper and cut-outs, to line up in the windowsill and fill with treats and surprises. There's something so simplistic and sweet about handmade valentines, or ones with the little paper doilies beneath them.
This Valentines Day, I was lucky enough to pick up some of these reminders of the past at a local antique store. While they aren't the Barbie, Power Rangers, and cartoon characters (nothing says 'I love you' like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle) of my own childhood, I love the way that their simplicity, the cute puns and illustrated pictures communicate the best bits of childhood with this season.
Of course, I do have a Valentine, this year. It happens to be his birthday on the same day, too - lucky boy. So I got him a present, of course: a vintage, 1960's silk scarf with paisley in pale blue and red. It's gorgeous, I was almost too in love with it to give it away. But I love nothing more than I love giving presents, so that instinct won out. While he gets to see it on my blog and via email and such, he doesn't get to have it until I visit him during spring break in March. Because as much as I love giving presents, I love giving them in person more. (I'll be in Los Angeles! I've never been to California before!)