Valentine's Day

In case you haven't heard, today is Valentine's Day. 

And because today is supposed to be a celebration of love and candy, I am not going to write about anything political. 

My favorite part of Valentine's Day has always actually been the next day. When the chocolate is at least half off. That might be more about my love of chocolate over my love of this Hallmark holiday though. 

I do think that people should be allowed to like things though. I know some people that love love. And this just gives them another reason to be happy. Unlike most holidays that Christians celebrate it doesn't seem like they are based on any pagan ceremonies. 

There are a few different origin stories. Most of them involve Saint Valentine. Sometimes he is saving restoring the jailer's daughter's sight right before he is executed. Other times he is performing marriages for Roman soldiers who don't have permission to wed.

No matter how it started it seems like different countries have different ways of showing love. In Italy, Saint Valentine Keys are given as a romantic symbol with which to unlock their lover's hearts. Or, less romantically, the keys are given to children to ward off epilepsy, which is known as Saint Valentine's malady.

And not everyone celebrates this day of amour on the same day. February 14 is the feast day for the Western Christian Church and  July 6th is the day for the Eastern Orthodox Church (although some articles I read said it was actually July 30th). 

Legend has it that Saint Valentine used to cut hearts out of paper and give it to soldiers and to persecuted Christians to remind them of God's love. Which would explain where the modern paper hearts that kids give out came from. 

In culture, Valentine's Day is a frequent topic, who doesn't love romance, and even more so, who doesn't love a tragic love? Even Shakspeare wrote of it. Hamlet's Ophelia seems to be experiencing more heartbreak than the promise of most Saint Valentine's bring:

"To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
And dupp'd the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more

William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5

Whether you love today or not, maybe at least today can be a day to celebrate yourself. Or to watch A Charlie Brown Valentine while munching on your favourite chocolate. 

And listening to love songs (look at that segue). 

When we got married my husband wanted to pick our wedding song. He chose Good Morning Beautiful by Steve Holy. It's a sweet song, full of love. We danced to it at our wedding. But it never stuck as "our" song. Instead over the years, we have thought of Somewhere Over the Rainbow but Israel Kamakawiwo'ole as our actual song. Maybe today when hanging out with a loved one, play them a song that makes you think of them, and if you haven't bought anything (and think that maybe you should) here are some ideas:

Godiva Valentine's Heart


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