Happy Valentines Day! Today seems to be the perfect time to reflect on love, much like Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on being thankful, and Independence Day is the perfect time to reflect on what it means to be free.
Have you seen that stupid commercial with the larger than life teddy bear? I mean, it’ s sweet and all and I love the thought of having something so comfy to cuddle up to on the couch or bed, but seriously….who has room for something like that??? Of course, they really market it well. They explain why flowers suck and her throwing them in the trash, then her eating a couple of pieces of candy out of the traditional heart shaped box, then she throws it over her shoulder because it’s a bad idea and you’re gonna have to listen to her complain about how fat she is. Yep, she’d much rather have that teddy bear that takes up half the house that she can cuddle with. Makes me wonder if someone who gives her that bear is actually giving his own version of a Dear Jane letter. Seems like the perfect replacement.
So what exactly is Valentines Day and when did it start and why is it such a big deal?
In my search for the origins of Valentines Day, one of the many stories include the martyrdom of a Saint in Rome who was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. His last big gig was healing the daughter of his jailer and sending her a card signed, “your Valentine”.
There seem to be many claims to the origin of the day of Love. Everything from girls drawing names from a jar to see who they would marry, to famous people getting married on the day. Basically, if you can imagine it, it probably happened at some point in history.
At some point poetry became famous. Even the ever popular “Roses are Red” poem evolved over time.
Here’s my favorite from Edmund Spenser’s epic The Faerie Queene (1590)
She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.
Fast forward to modern times and Valentines Day has become one of the most commercial holidays of the year, following Christmas and Halloween. In the United States, about 190 million cards are sent each year. We’re talking the hallmark style cards, not the little box of 25 cards that the school children pass out. In 2013, the average person spent $131.
Regardless of the origin, the modern day celebration consists of lavishing gifts on the beloved. The usual gifts include chocolate, flowers, jewelry, teddy bears and mass produced cards and let us not forget the fancy dinner. Although all those things are nice, I think that gifts from the heart are the best. The best thing about gifts from the heart is that they don’t cost much if anything.
When was the last time you wrote a poem? Do you even know how to write a poem? If not, I have some great news for you, we have modern day technology in the form of the internet and google. Simply google “how to write a poem”, pick your style then put your own words to it and use a thesaurus if you must in order to find words that fit. After you have written your poem get you out some colored paper and crayons and make your own Valentines Day card.
When was the last time you had a romantic dinner? Here’s an idea. Send the kids to grandma’s and make your sweetheart’s favorite meal. Set the table with the best place settings and elegant decorations. And whatever you do, don’t forget the candles, low lighting and love songs playing in the background. Get dressed in something sexy and surprise him/her.
If chocolates are your Valentine’s thing, consider doing away with the heart shaped box, and make your own sweets. Truffles are easy to make as are heart shaped cookies.
There’s any number of ideas to make the day special. Google and Pinterest will be your best friends when coming up with ideas. Stop on the side of the road and pick her a bouquet of flowers, dance to the car radio under the stars, turn you bedroom and bathroom into a spa, complete with candles and rose petals. If you plan ahead, you could also get with your favorite photographer and make some sexy picture to give to him or her. This would also be a great day for breakfast in bed.
However, you celebrate, spend time with the one you love.
Happy Valentines Day!