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I'm a 50 something daughter, sister, wife, aunt, mother and friend. I have a husband and a son with my parents living in my basement. Keeping it together through menopause, the teenage years and the golden years. I hope you visit often.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!! Did you ever wonder why we do what we do on Feb. 14th? Lee and I have spent 29 Valentines Days together. Over the years we've had romantic weekends, dinners and evenings. Our Valentines Day cards have ranged from beautiful cards to cards picked up at the grocery on the way home from work the day of. After we had Jake, we got cards made with glitter, written in crayon, with candy glued to the outside. All of them are in a box in the top of my closet. This mad dash of a holiday made me wonder how it all began. I figured it was a Hallmark Holiday and I wasn't that far off. Although the beginnings are a bit disturbing. Though there is no EXACT origin of the day of love, it did start with being "hit on". Apparently, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia from Feb. 13th-15th. Lupercalia consisted of drunk, naked Roman men sacrificing a goat and a dog. They would then take the hides of the animals and hit the women with the hides. The women would line up to be hit because they thought this would make them fertile. Then, they had the lottery. The names of the women would be put in a jar, the men would draw a name, then spend the duration of the festival with them. It was reality TV all over again. If they found a match, they stayed together. If not, oh well, there is always next festival. The Catholic Church is honored with giving the name to Valentines Day. Emperor Claudius II executed two men, both named Valentine, on Feb. 14th in two different years. The church honored their martyrdom by calling the day St. Valentine's Day. Then, in the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I combined St. Valentines Day with Lupercalia in order to get rid of the pagan ritual. The festival was still a drunken event, they just kept their clothes on and didn't sacrifice any animals. But it still represented a day of love and fertility. Shakespeare and  Chaucer are to blame for romanticizing the day. In the Middle Ages, handmade paper cards were being given as tokens of love. Enter Hallmark! In 1913 Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, MO. began mass producing Valentine cards. This year's sales are expected to total $18 billion. So, tonight on this Valentines Evening, we will sit down as a family at our kitchen table and eat pot roast, exchange cards/gift cards and enjoy our family Valentines Day. I will also pet Lily dog on the head, glad that Lee didn't feel the need to skin her and whack me with her hide. I hope you have many people who are your Valentines! Take care!

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