A little history.
St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. These saints had to have a pretty decent story in order to rate their own special day of celebration. Whether the tale was truth or fiction didn’t matter. One popular account of Saint Valentine of Rome, says he was imprisoned and executed for performing weddings for soldiers forbidden to marry, and for ministering to Christians who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. And if that wasn’t enough, the narrative goes on to tell how he healed the daughter of his jailer. Supposedly he even wrote her a farewell letter and signed it, “Your Valentine”. The earliest Valentine’s Day card perhaps?
There were many other Saint Valentines out there with their own stories to be told.
In 18th-century England, the celebration evolved into a day for lovers to express their love to each other by giving gifts such as flowers, candy, and cards (known as “valentines”). During the 19th-century, the handmade cards evolved into mass produced-greeting cards. Valentine’s Day cards are frequently adorned with hearts, doves, and a winged Cupid and his bow. Mushy words of love are found inside. Children give and receive versions with little cutesy critters, beautiful princesses, or super heroes. Pretty much any character or theme that happens to be popular at the time will work.
How Hubby and I spend our day.
My hubby still prefers the handmade cards I make him. I’m the first to admit my fine works of art do not pose a threat to Hallmark. They are not very creative. I use the same symbols…hearts, doves, and little Cupids. I glue these romantic morsels to a folded piece of red construction paper with one of those little white paper doylies slapped on, and write a good sappy line inside. There you have it, my work is done. And the five dollars I save on a store bought card will buy me a cup of indulgence at Starbucks. Happy Valentine’s Day to me!
Hubby and I celebrate at home usually. Years of waiting for tables at the romantic restaurant of our choice, even with reservations, grew old faster than I did. I prefer to cook hubby a great dinner to go with my construction paper card. I always give him a heart-shaped box full of chocolates…specifically Turtles or chocolate-covered strawberries. I always receive a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from Hubby. The opulence and size of the arrangements have grown over the years, along with our love for each other. A nice candle-lit bubble bath is always a nice touch at the end of the day—especially if we bring along the chocolates.
The best and the worst.
My best Valentine’s Day ever? The first one I spent with my future husband. We were just fifteen. Still little kids! We went to a Church-sponsored dance together. Well sort of together. We were too young to drive and our parents had to take us. Future-hubby gave me my very first heart-shaped box of chocolate candy. *fanning my heart here* He was romantic even at fifteen! I never imagined we’d spend the rest of our lives celebrating February 14th together!
|My momma and daddy|
My worst Valentine’s Day? The year my momma died. It kind of took the wind out of the holiday for several years. With a lot of grieving and a husband who always makes Valentine’s Day special, I honestly enjoy the day again. Sometimes I still get a bit gloomy, but I know Momma wouldn’t want me to spend the romance day for lovers all sad. So at the end of the day, I choose to celebrate love and life.
Do you have a best or worst Valentine’s Day you’d like to share in comments below?
A special shout out to Beth Lentz, the winner of this year’s treasure chest full of Valentine goodies!
For a chance to win an Amazon gift card this month, answer a trivia question about "Resolutions".
There’s still a contest running on Goodreads to win a print copy of Resolutions.
I hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day this year!