Valentine’s Day or Feast of Saint Valentine is observed every February 14th fixed by the Western Christian Churches. When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of love, friendship, roses, chocolate, jewelry, cards and kids crafts. As a young girl, I remember taking a red plastic basket to school to exchange Valentine cards. My parents might give us a nice card and chocolate. It was a day to express our love feelings to others. I believe it still is that special day. The kids usually decorate a shoebox with wrapping paper or pink construction paper, put a slit in the top or decorate a brown paper bag and collect their friends’ valentines at school. In preschool and elementary school, classes might have cookies and refreshments and make Valentine crafts. Our family recognizes Valentine’s Day with cards store bought by me and usually hand-made or computer generated from the kids and hubby, a small toy for the kids and maybe roses or chocolate for me! When the kids were pre-school age, I took them to Picture People in the mall and had the most adorable photos taken of them wearing red and holding a heart for the grandparents.
There are several beliefs as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. The Catholic church recognizes several saints named Valentine or Valentinus all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Saint Valentine was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers (who were forbidden to marry because they thought single men made better soldiers). Presumably, Saint Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter (~A.D. 270) and wrote a letter to his love “from your Valentine” as a farewell and it is still an expression used today. Others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. The tradition of courtly love flourished in 18th century England and evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their feelings or love for one another by presenting flowers, chocolate and/or greeting cards or “valentines”. Valentine’s Day symbols that are common today include a heart-shaped outline, doves and the figure of the winged Cupid.
Some ideas we have to make Valentines Day special for your family and friends include buying roses (Costco has affordable, fresh roses for $19.99), take the kids to a wired and fired store to make a keepsake plate, make chocolate covered pretzels, or bake heart-shaped cookies with pink icing and sprinkles.
Fun DIY Valentines crafts found on Pinterest include: 1) Make a handprint heart on paper and place in typography frame found at Wal-Mart for $2.50 (idea from www.b-inspiredmama.com). The kids paint their handprints, place on heart-shaped paper decorated with rhinestones and glitter, write name and year before placing in the frame. 2) Make love bugs with heart-shaped feet made from felt or construction paper, pink or red pompoms for the base, googly eyes and chenille stems for the antennae’s. Write “I love you” on the base with name and year (www.examiner.com). 3) Make a burlap banner with hearts. Staple or glue the top of burlap (4in x 6in as idea for size) over twine and glue heart-shaped felt onto the burlap. Make as long or short as you like, write sayings on the hearts if desired (picture found on my Pinterest board).
Information obtained from History.com and Wikipedia.
The majority of this article can also be found in the February 2015 edition of North Fulton Family Life Monthly Publication!
Original post January 29, 2014