I don't think children are required to give valentines to their classmates anymore. I hope not. What it taught you at an early age was who your friends were, who you wanted to be your friends, and who you just didn't care about. Sorting through the stack of cards the night before, deciding which were the very best (which of course would be given to your friends) and picking out the ones you thought were the ugliest to give to the children you thought fit that bill. You had to give a card to every single child in class. It was an emotional day for a lot of kids. There was the way a child would hand you the card. The body language was telling. And of course the little boys were just uncomfortable with all of it. I know the teachers set it up so no child would be left out, but ultimately a few were. They simply didn't get as many as the other kids and they'd sit quietly at their desk with their smaller stack. There are other ways this could have been handled. But that's in the past, just as these valentines are from the past.
All of these cards are ones I've collected the past few years. This one of the cat is my favorite because it was purchased just weeks before my kitty passed. It looks a lot like him so it makes me smile and at the same time a little sad.
Other than the lovely illustrations used on valentines there are the catchy silly phrases. The clever play on words. Try to imagine the mind of the person who had to write these. They had to be constantly looking for some word, some phrase, that they could put a little twist on to make a hit-it-out-of-the-park one liner that would have their boss giving them a thumbs up and a pay check. Then it was handed to the illustrator to put their take on it. A lot of work, a lot of input from a lot of people, went into putting these little pieces of paper together. Most were bought, given, then tossed.
And really, does anything more say "I Love You!" than pork in plaid? I think not.