Do you remember celebrating holidays in elementary school? One of the most magical days of the year, other than St. Patrick’s Day when the leprechauns would create a mess in the classroom, was Valentine’s Day. At my school, we decorated shoe boxes with pretty paper and cut slots in the lids to resemble a mailbox. We had to give Valentine’s cards to everyone in the class in order to be fair. After all, the thought of a 3rd grader with only one card in his/her mailbox is enough to make tears well up in anyone’s eyes. Some people just gave cards (you know, the witty kind with your favorite cartoon characters on them), while others attached a piece of candy to their cards. Finding candy in your box was like finding gold back then.
Looking back, I realize how lame my Valentine’s Day mailbox must have looked. While we had to be fair with our gifts, there were no rules on how elaborate (or plain) our boxes could be. There were always the kids with crafty moms who would spend too much time making sure their child’s box was the best. I’m talking boxes covered in glitter and expensive craft paper. Some were designed to look just like real mailboxes. I, on the other hand, was not blessed with a crafty mom with too much time on her hands. My box was a simple shoe box covered in red construction paper with a few of my own doodles and maybe a sticker or two. SUPER lame. I was pretty oblivious back then, so I never knew how inferior my boxes must have looked next to the popular girls’ boxes. I suppose ignorance is bliss. I was just happy if I got a Spongebob card from the boy I liked and maybe a Kit-Kat bar somewhere in there.
Red is synonymous with love and Valentine’s Day, just like the red construction paper I haphazardly glued onto my shoe box from Payless. On the most romantic day of the year, is there any better way to enjoy the color red than in dessert? Trust me, this Red Velvet Cheesecake is way more impressive than a Kit-Kat bar.