Some time ago, my husband and I agreed to stop spending more than $2.00 on a card. Later on, we scratched even the $2.00 and resumed our note writing. I say “resumed” because back in college, we wrote love letters to each other every week for two years.
I saved every one of his. Forty years later, I discovered them bundled together in our cellar.
His handwriting hasn’t changed much. He used his own voice, wrote in his style, from his heart. His love sings clearly and he writes about specifics—what he’s thinking of me as he rushes off for work, how he feels as he drives home. The letters said things that were meant only for me. Above all, he took the time to send it in an envelope with a stamp, something rare today.
Believe it or not, there’s a parallel here to home and the classroom. We educators are taught to give specific praise to a child. “You chose an excellent synonym for ‘yellow’” helps the child more than the generic “Good job!” Not that “good job!” is wrong, but it can mean anything to anyone.
It’s the same thing with Valentine’s Day cards. Why purchase generic messages? Write a handwritten love letter to your child, full of specific things that only you know and notice.
Also, remember that the best love letters are personal. In forty years, your child might even have a bundle of them, in their own cellar, to rediscover.