Surprise Valentine from Mom

When Gloria and I were in college, Mom sent us boxes of Drew’s Chocolates, which are made in our hometown, for Valentine’s Day. Every year she’d send us Drew’s, even after we had jobs of our own.

Drew’s Chocolate box, now owned by the Dexter Museum

Especially for Valentine’s Day, Helen Drew began to buy red heart-shaped boxes, stamped with the candy shop’s name on the back. She’d fill them with luscious caramels, creams, chocolate covered nuts, nougats, and cherry chocolates. We’d share our bounty from Mom at work.

Gloria taught art at the Burton R. Jones Junior High in Creston for nearly three decades. Her fellow teachers looked forward to sampling this annual treat from home. She usually had it ready to share on the table in the teachers’ lounge.

One year she hadn’t unwrapped the box but set it on the table and said to go ahead and open it and enjoy. We didn’t realize that Mom decided she wouldn’t load us up with sugar and chocolate that year, so sent us each a surprise about the size of a Drew’s heart-shaped box.

When Gloria’s coworkers revealed to her what was in the box, she turned as red as the surprise gift. Mom had sent red shortie pajamas!

Shortie pajamas on a mannequin

What a fun memory for the teachers at Burton R. Jones Junior High every Valentine’s Day after that, even after Mom quickly returned to sending Drew’s Chocolates.

A little history of Drew’s Chocolates.


  1. Oh, how that made me laugh. Your post brought me back to my time in the military. While mama often send muffins, cakes, cookies, and Kool-Aid, she was known to send underwear and socks. Mamas will always be mamas after all. 🙂 I too learned to open packages from home in private, as the guys in my unit all knew that with the exception of the Kool-Aid, if it was edible, I would be sharing the love. Thank you so much for a smile and a laugh this morning my friend. God’s blessings.

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