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What's in the Bag: Tiny Packages

I’m an old-fashioned girl, I believe in romance.  Who doesn’t like being wined and dined by a local suitor, going for a moonlit jaunt around the National Mall, and bequeathed a solitary rose at the end of the night? In spite of my Swift-ian reverence for romance, I bah-humbug my way through February, scoff at every Zales commercial, and eye-roll down the Walgreens candy aisle. Recently, Valentine's Day hasn’t really been my bag. This year, however, something made me change my tune. I’ve denounced my Scrooge-y convictions to become a Valentine pundit. If you’re like me and long to be moved by the V-Day spirit, let Deb Waterman Johns be your guide. Watch out.  She’s about to twirl on you, Valentine’s haters. 
*No, roses, actually.  I, like bae-Chris Harrison, will be forever triggered by rose bestowing of any kind.

For those unfamiliar with our Team’s approach to holidays, we take playing “Santa,” or being “Valentine’s,” as seriously as Clint Eastwood’s method acting. This Valentine’s day, we cranked holiday mode to level 10 and did what we do best: bags. We’re talking 33 goodie bags for our friends in Pediatric Oncology at Georgetown University Hospital. These goodie bags needed to be top shelf, so, naturally, Deb drained Oriental Trading Co.’s toy and candy inventory. Then, Megan Principe, Media Manager and steward of company morale, ordered a million Ledo’s pizzas. The rest of us sheeple had it pretty easy as we followed Deb and E-Bay’s lead and hunkered down with our cards, candy, and Tiny Packages on an assembly line. On Monday, resident angel, Elizabeth Bailey will deliver our goodie bags and become the Queen of Valentine’s Day.

DWJ’s Recipe for Valentine’s Fame and Glory

Messaging Bracelets. Wear them for a sweet little reminder someone is thinking of you. Proceed to feel happy feelies.
Pez. Gotta get that Pez for an old school meets new school vibe. Plus, everyone knows those chalky little rectangles taste weirdly amazing.
Ring Pops. As Deb says, “Everyone loves those darn Ring Pops. They’re totally glam meets sugar high.” Sidenote: This may be my favorite Deb quote of all time.
Treasures & trinkets. Keep an interactive motif. This can be done with crazy candy, quirky toys, and other novelty treasures.
Candy hearts. Deb vehemently believes that no Valentine’s Day is complete without candy hearts. If you’re a super fan and follow our Instagram, you’ve probably noticed we love candy hearts with messaging from our studio photography. It’s just fun and cheeky, and you can’t go wrong.
Tiny Packages. Throw all your loot into a Tiny Package, string some ribbon through the grommets, and tie bows to seal it all off. The Tiny Package is a game changer with its reusability, sturdiness, and celebratory appeal.

If you’re looking for help executing a bulk Valentine’s scenario like we did, Deb suggests going the “cheap and deep” route by ordering from Oriental Trading Co., Rhode Island Novelty, and Party City. You can get all the super balls, candy necklaces, a little sticky hand to slap on the wall (or collect stray hairs and dust bunnies), fidget spinners, silly putty, you name it. These sites are filled with what can become every 8-year-old's most lucrative assets (and every mom’s waking nightmare) for amazing prices.

If your kids are "grown-ups," like many of our Team members or Deb’s fab four, feel free to be as creative and practical as you like. Deb sends each of her kids a container of Milk Bar birthday cake truffles through the life-changing website, Goldbely. Any site that ships birthday cupcakes coast to coast will win big with the twenty-somethings. Deb also loves Meri Meri for the most adorable, charming, and immaculate party accessories and decor you’ve ever laid eyes on. Imagine the prodigal child of Anthropologie, Pottery Barn Kids, and Paper Source, and you’ve got Meri Meri. Isn't it a relief to know you can show you care without spending hours trying to get that sticky hand off the kitchen ceiling?

I don't know about you, but when I was in elementary school my teachers may as well have taken a cattle brand, labeled “borderline distracting enthusiasm” to my report card comments section from years -'98-'05. So, you can imagine the effect class parties had on me, especially Valentine’s Day. Note passing, candy consumption, and grandiose acts of expression were encouraged and celebrated.

Transforming a cardboard shoebox into a visual representation of your entire personality? Making cards for each of your classmates showcasing your affection AND prosaic talents? Eating candy until you think your teeth might actually be rotting? Yes! Yes! A thousand times, yes!

Valentine’s was a Pardoning Day for each of us crazy turkeys. And, I’m so proud we’re keeping the spirit alive with our goodie bags made with a hundred pounds of love (and M&M’s). I think Elizabeth Bailey said it best when she texted me, “Bringing a smile to someone's face, especially a kid's, is the ultimate Valentine.”

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