Valentine’s Day

The day to celebrate love and lovers is almost upon us once again! Amid the candy hearts and cards being exchanged and given to show our love for another, is a man who was beheaded for his beliefs and his aid to young martyred Christians. Being a student of Catholic school, while we did celebrate V-Day amongst ourselves, technically, the day was not officially recognized, and the nuns who taught us went out of their way to remind us of who the man behind the holiday was.

There are conflicting reports to his origin, but most agree he was a priest who was martyred in 269 AD. His crimes consisted of marrying Christian couples in the Roman Empire, and aiding other young Christians being persecuted during Claudius II’s reign. He was jailed and condemned to death. Supposedly, at first, they tried to stone and beat him to death, when it didn’t work as expected, he was beheaded. The date of his execution – you guessed it! February 14. It wasn’t until 496 that the date of his death was marked as the celebration of his martyrdom by the Pope at the time (I should know that, Sr. Maureen would be so disappointed in me). There is some dispute as to when his day of remembrance became associated with romantic love, but I tend to believe it was the Middle Ages when the day to celebrate romantic love truly became forever linked with him. Perhaps because he did marry Christian couples, although I also recall learning at some point that the origins of the rituals of Valentine’s Day come from cultures such as Ancient Greek and Roman societies. But I could be wrong, it was a long time ago when I heard that.

In any case, oddly, Valentine’s Day is not a big day for me. I know, I write romance novels, that day should be a highlight of my year. But it just isn’t. Way back when I was still a starry eyed young girl who thought a handsome knight would sweep me off to a life of pampering, luxury and utter adoration, I exchanged Valentines with my boyfriends, and swore undying love. Of course, I know better now, and looking back on some of those boyfriends, I am extremely glad that undying love only lasted a few weeks, or months, at best! And some of those special Valentine’s Days turned out to be pretty lousy no matter what plans I made. But these days, it’s usually just like any other day, it’s very rare to have anything special planned in our house. Priorities are making sure the kids have a fun day – usually includes a gift of some sort, making sure they wear red for their class parties, and of course, preparing their Valentines to share with their classes and friends. But after a full day of working outside my home, then coming home and working several more hours at my real (read: Mom) job, I’m just happy to get an hour or so to myself. Alone. With no kids, or a husband, needing me for something – which usually turns out to be something they can generally handle themselves – no laundry or dirty dishes to tend to, no toys to be picked up and the like. Though a box of chocolates would be nice. But I don’t need a holiday to indulge in that!

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day tradition? Do you have special plans this year? Was there a particular Valentine’s Day that was especially memorable for you – either good or bad? Share it here – two lucky commenters will win either a $25 Amazon gift certificate or a gift basket from Bath & Body Works! I’ll announce the winners next Tuesday.

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14 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day

  1. You had me at Amazon Gift Card… LOL 🙂

    My best Valentine's Day was in 2006, when my now hubby proposed. It was very sweet and romantic and also a bit hilarious because he forgot to get down on one knee, so he insisted on proposing again right there, after I'd already said yes, so he could “do it right” LOL I was crying and laughing at the same time, and the memory still brings a smile to my face 🙂

    Another year we went to a fancy restaurant but what I really wanted was Red Lobster (classy all the way baby). DH saw that's what I'd prefer and even though we'd already made reservations and started in on the bread basket, we left (he left a tip, don't worry!) and went to Red Lobster, where I happily indulged in cheesy biscuits 🙂

  2. My niece was born on the 15th of February. So on Valentine's day, my sister went into labor. We spent all night at the hospital waiting for my niece. She was born the next day around 10 in the morning. We are celebrating her birthday today. She's having a party and she asked me to make lasagna for her. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

  3. Hi Gianna! I so didn't know this history, so neat to learn, even tho beheading, yuck! LOL! I was mainstreamed in a hearing school so I really didn't have much communication back then with anyone in school so those teen times of dates and the like on valentines didn't happen so really I came to not let myself get disappointed when Valentines came around and there were no dates or gifts or the like. Yeah sometimes I just couldn't when watching it all around me. But, when I met my boyfriend then (hubby now) back then in a deaf college I was to experience the special date he planned & we were told we'd have to wait 2 plus hours for a table when everyone else was going out too, so we went back to the dorms and ordered a pizza and made our own valentines day and decided that any day we wanted we could make it a special day instead. So I like the unexpected doing anything once in a while at the spur of the moment and going on our 'date' after 27 years of marriage. It can be going to the library to get some movies or he bringing me a bunch of socks the yesterday for my cold feet that woke him during the night! I just put a little something in his lunch today that will make him smile!
    cathiecaffey @ gmail.com

  4. Hey Shoshanna, missed you this morning!

    What a nice proposal – I swear, if I didn't tell my DH “if we don't get to it now, we never will, and I'm done!” lol Of course, we'd been dating for about 8 or 9 years by then! And there isn't a romantic bone in his body.

    I love Red Lobster – sad thing is the one near me isn't that great. First had it in Minneapolis when we were visiting relatives when I was a kid.

  5. Hi Amy! Thanks for stopping by.

    How cool about your niece – though you guys must have been wiped out by the time she arrived! My nephew was born on Valentine's Day, my SIL was late, so they scheduled her for induction/c-section, which was a Thursday that year.

    Wish your niece a happy birthday – and that lasagna sounds yummy! 🙂

  6. Hi Cathie, good to see you!

    What a nice memory – sometimes the simplest things turn out to be the most special. The bells and whistles are nice, but who you share them with really makes the difference. I like the way you make any day romantic and special, especially after so much time. My DH and I have been married 20 years, but our total time together is 28 years, and too often we forget to do those little things for each other, so I always love to hear when people continue to keep the spark fresh.

    Although it sounds like the socks were more of a defensive move on his part! lol

  7. I'm much like you, I was swept away in middle school and high school with the “idea” of Valentine's Day, and thankful now that nothing became of those crushes.

    My most memorable Valentine's Day, although I didn't know it then, took place 13 years ago. I was at a dance with a friend, and I met the father of my son. There have been a lot of Valentine's Days since then that haven't been celebrated, and this year will be no different, except I will remember it a little more fondly, now that he is in our boy's life.

  8. Hi Caridad! Thanks for coming by. That’s a nice tradition – I get a card, but that’s about it. And dinner, well, I make that and it’s usually something I have to make sure my kids will eat! Chicken fingers and mad and cheese aren’t usually very romantic meals. lol

    As for the history, there’s so much I can barely remember, but I do recall the nuns all making sure we were aware that he was a saint first and foremost and should be treated with respect. At the time, I could have cared less, but obviously something sunk in! 🙂

  9. Hey Dari, thanks for coming by. It’s so nice to have a special memory, isn’t it? And hey, no matter what, the ultimate gift from that V-day is worth a million dollars in gold! And that outshines every other V-Day. I’m so glad you’re all able to have a relationship, that is always a beautiful thing.

  10. My most memorable Valentines was the year I went to bed and found a lump under my pillow. Turned out to be a ring box. Still took us four more years to actually get married, but I never took the rings off once they were sized. My daughter has them now, on a necklace(her fingers are skinnier than mine).

  11. Hi Beth! That's cool – sort of like the Princess and the Pea. I always loved that story, but was always a bit skeptical she could detect a pea under all those mattresses. No missing a ring box under a pillow! 🙂

    I love that your daughter has them now, it's fantastic to pass those down like that, we have a few pieces in the family my sister and I have gotten and will continue the tradition with ours.

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