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Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Reminder

I think it's often too easy to be cynical about what some holidays are or have become. Many of the religious holidays certainly come to mind: Easter, Christmas. And no doubt some businesses and retail industries certainly try to cash in on celebrations like Mother's Day and Father's Day. The same is certainly true of Valentine's Day, which originates from any number of rumored sources, including the abolishment of the Roman Pagan fertility celebration of Lupercalia by Pope Gelasius I in the 5th century, though it was only later associated with courtly love during the High Middle Ages with Chaucer's love birds in Parlement of Foules from 1382.

And we have the British to thank for the custom of sending paper valentines. In 1797, a British publisher issued The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which contained scores of suggested sentimental verses for the young lover unable to compose his own. But these paper cards were not mass produced until the mid-1800s, and now, over one billion cards (many of which are mass produced by some of the biggest greeting card companies) are sent each year for Valentine's Day.

But here comes the cynicism of many, including the dubbing of February 14 as "Singles Awareness Day." Certainly I don't like to be told when and what to purchase as a consumer, and Leigh Eric Schmidt does a nice job in the Journal of American History chronicling the commercialization of the calendar. But I will always argue for the celebration of Valentine's Day, if for no other reason than a simple reminder once a year that I should be openly sharing my love with those for whom I care the most.

Valentine's Day Present

On this St. Valentine's Day, I proudly say to my dearest love Molly, I love you. Above is a photo of a little present I got for her. This holiday, take a minute to pause and share your love for those around you, be they a spouse, pet, or possession that you dearly love and for which you are thankful.

Eric Lovelin Photography

1 comment:

  1. So now that she's opened it, will you tell us what it was? Something round, shiny, and diamond-y? :)