Happy Valentine’s Day!

A lot of people are anti-V-Day, calling it a marketing ploy by Hallmark and Hershey’s.  Others claim it’s depressing if you’re single.  I happen to love celebrating holidays, so I love February 14th whether I’m single or attached.  (My favorite Valentine’s Day is still one from a few years ago, which was actually a girls’ night out with some of my best girlfriends in NYC – Beauty Bar, anyone? ;-D). 

I think we need to look past the commercialism and embrace the true spirit of Valentine’s Day: spreading love all around.  It can be a day to show your appreciation for your parents, your best friend, your dog, your lover, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your co-workers, your favorite TV show, your coffee barista, or all of the above!  (Although if you have both a boyfriend and girlfriend to love, that could make for a very interesting holiday . . . )  Take a moment today to show a little appreciation, support, adoration, or love for someone you admire or interact with and see how great it makes both you and that person feel.  Love is a basic emotion but one that we sometimes put on the back burner when all the other emotions come into play.  With kindness and caring, though, we can accomplish a lot more than with anger and frustration.  So show a little love today. 😀

Here are some interesting facts to get you through the day:

Valentine’s Day Facts

  • 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.
  • About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year. That’s the largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas.
  • About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.
  • Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone, an “Improvement in Telegraphy”, on Valentine’s Day, 1876.
  • Cupid, another symbol of Valentines Day, became associated with it because he was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid often appears on Valentine cards holding a bow and arrows because he is believed to use magical arrows to inspire feelings of love.
  • During the late 1800s, postage rates around the world dropped, and the obscene St. Valentine’s Day card became popular, despite the Victorian era being otherwise very prudish. As the numbers of racy valentines grew, several countries banned the practice of exchanging Valentine’s Days cards. During this period, Chicago’s post office rejected more than 25,000 cards on the grounds that they were so indecent, they were not fit to be carried through the U.S. mail.
  • February 14, 270 A.D. : Roman Emperor Claudius II, dubbed “Claudius the Cruel,” beheaded a priest named Valentine for performing marriage ceremonies. Claudius II had outlawed marriages when Roman men began refusing to go to war in order to stay with their wives.
  • Hallmark has over 1330 different cards specifically for Valentine’s Day.
  • In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.
  • In the United States, 64 percent of men do not make plans in advance for a romantic Valentine’s Day with their sweethearts. It wasn’t until 1537 that St. Valentine’s Day was declared an official holiday. England’s King Henry VIII declared February 14th a holiday.
  • Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts. Children ages 6 to 10 exchange more than 650 million Valentine’s cards with teachers, classmates, and family members.
  • The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine’s Day.
  • The oldest known Valentines were sent in 1415 A.D. by the Duke of Orleans to his French wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. It is still on display in a museum in England. The oldest surviving love poem is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians, inventors of writing, around 3500 B.C. It was unromantically named Istanbul #2461 by the archeologists who unearthed it.
  • Wearing a wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand dates back to ancient Egypt, where it was believed that the vein of love ran from this finger directly to the heart.
  • In America, the pilgrims sent confections, such as sugar wafers, marzipan, sweetmeats and sugar plums, to their betrothed. Great value was placed on these gifts because they included what was then a rare commodity, sugar. After the late 1800’s, beet sugar became widely used and more available, and sweet gifts continued to be valued and enjoyed.