Cherished Tokens

Phyllis Inspiration, Lifestyle 12 Comments

This is the month of love. By the time you read this, Valentine’s Day will have come and gone. For some it is a wonderful time, and for others, it can be a lonely time. So, as I am writing this, I thought about all the Valentine’s Day school events we had when we were much younger.

I always loved making the boxes or envelopes that were displayed in our classroom where our Valentine’s would be placed by our classmates. It was a competition to see who could get the most stuff on those boxes. The boys’ boxes could easily be distinguished from the girls’. Most just drew the requisite heart with crayon and let it go. The girls’ boxes had glitter and everything imaginable glued to them.

When the day came that the cards would be placed, we all had that secret third-grade love for whom we painstakingly selected a card to place in his box. But everyone swapped cards. I will always remember the pain on the boys’ faces as they distributed their cards (that their mothers made them do) and tried to hide the fact that they were giving any to a girl.

The girls, on the other hand, watched to see if the boy they liked put one in their box. Oh, the thrill of it all! And when the tiny little white envelope was opened, the card was signed by the mom or scribbled by the boy, rendering it illegible. How funny. These were cherished cards, nevertheless. We hid those away in the drawers in our rooms, where they stayed for months, only to be taken out and re-read many times.

It’s funny what cherished tokens we accumulate during our lifetime. I have very special notes from my sons and grandchildren, including hand-drawn portraits of me and notes written in their very first handwriting. When one of them discovers my treasures, they always say, “I can’t believe you kept this!” Are you kidding? Those are priceless—little tokens that mean you were thought of in a special way.


I still have one card from my grandmother, who wrote inside, “How proud I am of you,” and that just makes my day. I keep it in a little chest on my desk. We all like to be remembered. I have sticky notes from kids and pictures in their finest Crayola coloring work, and pressed flowers from special moments. These remind me of my blessings and the special moments when they shared cherished tokens with me.

Why don’t we do that more as adults? I think of it, and then something distracts me. How fun it would be to send a sticky note to a friend or family member that says, “Thinking of you,” or put a piece of ribbon in an envelope and mail it to be used as a bookmark. It’s the little tokens that touch our hearts. I plan on doing a better job of sharing tokens of love and hope that in years to come, they will mean something to the recipient.

Comments 12

  1. I have saved all of my Birthday cards and Valentine cards and other holiday cards for many years. I store them in the garage and when one of my friends passes away I go to my boxes and read their cards to me. I still get holiday cards from ole classmates from the 60’s. I cherish them. Staying in touch means so much as we get older and I cherish my memories with each friend and family member. I always write a short letter in each card of how much they mean to me.
    Friendships are ire-placeable. Just like The Ribbon in my journal friends!
    Thank you Phyllis!
    California Carmel

  2. We have cards from our births and special occasions. We have the oldest ones in an album. This last Christmas we enclosed bookmarks in most of the cards we sent. We have new ones we intend to send in our Easter cards and birthday cards as well. Receiving a card or note in the mail can list one’s spirits and turn an ordinary day into something special.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

  3. This Valentine was one to remember cold, no power and snow on the ground. My husband and I exchanged Valentine- sit by the fire and were grateful our family was safe. The greatest of these is Love- I have Valentine s that were my mothers when she was child , in her cedar chest, nearly a 100 years old A treasure.

  4. I guess I’m a true lover of Valentines Day, you might say I’m a bit sentimental
    About the day. I usually make around 20 to mail out, trying to craft as close as I can to vintage ones using reclaimed papers and envelopes.
    This Year I wasn’t able to make valentines to sent because I wasn’t well.
    Sadly, no one even noticed. My goal is to make next years cards before I put everything away. I have special cards from my grandkids and husband.
    One year I worked really hard on one for him and it was special. He had forgotten the day, so he wrote / his name under mine and returned it to me.
    It’s one we all laugh about and it’s special. I have a friend whose husband put a red heart on a white napkin for her with her coffee. It’s the little blessings that count.
    I also make all Birthday, get well and any card I send.

  5. Todays post came at a perfect time !! I also have saved every card and note given to me over 80 years. I just put away a red velvet heart shaped candy box filled
    with those old precious ones from grammar school! This year I crafted a Valentine for my 60 year old son using one of them!! I also have shoeboxes full of those beautiful ones the card companies sell. But now the big dilemma ! What to do with them all as I pare down my treasures of a lifetime ?? No one in the family really wants them ! I can’t toss them out ! Girl Scouts leaders , teachers, used to take them for crafts but there is not much of that right now …..Any ideas ???

  6. Great Article,

    How sweet it is to be thought of. I love receiving cards because they’ve become rare. I love sending Valentine’s cards to my mom because the kid in me still loves the exchange like my early years in school. This year, my son gave me a small box of chocolates, nothing fancy, not a notable brand and probably wouldn’t be considered social media worthy. It warmed my heart because it was from an innocent place of love and I ate all four pieces.

  7. I am extremely sentimental when it comes to saving cards and tokens of affection from the people whom I love. I am constantly amazed at the memories these items evoke when I come across them in a drawer or cabinet or box . . . reminders of who, and what, matter the most to me. Cherished tokens represent all kinds of love, all types of relationships, and they form an integral part of the beautiful tapestries that are our lives. We should never forget what is good and lovely in our lives, and we should always remember – by keeping these cherished tokens – the ones who mean the most to us.

  8. Phyllis, I was just thinking this. We spent four days with our little people while their parents went to check out their new home in another state (sniff) – we all isolated and they got tested before hand. Anyway, we came home with all sorts of drawings, love notes and home made book marks.

    I thought I want to do this more with my girls, and my friends. Send more notes, and maybe a ribbon like you suggested. If this time has taught us nothing else, it’s that the people we love are precious, as are our days together. Thank you for another thought provoking post from your heart.

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