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Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is believed to have had its beginnings in a Roman festival called the Lupercalia. The early Roman men often wore the names of the girls who were to be their partners during the Lupercalia pinned to their sleeves. Even today we say that a man wears his heart upon his sleeve when he shows his interest in a young lady. Sometimes the couple exchanged presents. Ladies often received perfumed gloves or fine jewels. After the Lupercalia became a saint's day honoring Saint Valentine, some of the old customs were kept. It remained an important time for anyone looking for a mate. In the 17th century a hopeful maiden ate a hard-boiled egg and pinned five bay leaves to her pillow before going to sleep on Valentine's eve. She believed this would make her dream of her future husband.

Later, people began to exchange valentine cards instead of presents. the Duke of Orleans is believed to have made the first valentine card. Imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415, he wrote love poems, or "valentines," to his wife in France. Sweethearts exchanged handmade cards during the 17th and 18th centuries. The French trimmed huge paper hearts with yards of real lace.

Valentine cards became popular in the United States during the Civil War. Elaborate cards trimmed with satin ribbons, mother-of-pearl ornaments, and spun glass were sold. Within a few years Valentine's Day received almost as much attention as Christmas.

Today's valentine cards are simpler. Children often exchange them with their schoolmates. They can easily be bought in stores, but it is good fun and a pleasant pastime to make them yourself.

Written by: Natalie Fantony, Dennison Company

Valentine's Day Trivia:

  • In Victorian times it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine's Day card.

  • In Japan, girls give Valentine's Day chocolates to boys.

  • Victorians believed that if a lady put a silver coin under her pillow on Valentine's eve, she'd receive a proposal by the end of the year.

  • Valentine's Day didn't become popular in the United States untilthe 1800s.

  • Marvelicious Valentine for you!


    Around The House Romance

    You can set the scene for romance, a little touch here and there for senses. Cozy up for winter, clear out clutter in spring, plant a garden.

    Put out wedding pictures of family and friends and mix in a couple of those little bride and groom statues that come from tops of wedding cakes.

    Decorate with large seashells in spring, a bowl of lemons or peaches in summer, baskets of apples, nuts and pears in winter

    An open cupboard with pretty china and hanging teacups is charming ~ also try hanging flowered plates on the wall.

    Little dishes of candy ~ like red hots at Valentine's Day, chocolates at Christmas, candy~covered Easter eggs in spring. If you have a problem with this, get the kind you don't like!

    Bouquets of romantic flowers ~ sweet peas, poppies, stock, peonies, snapdragons, ~ something that smells good. Prints and paintings of fruits and flowers ~ needlepoint flower pillows; flowery anything is romantic.

    Use old flowered pitchers and sugar bowls for vases.

    Lace tablecloths and doilies ~ glass candlesticks in summer, wooden or brass ones in winter.

    "Love from the Heart of the Home" By Susan Branch

    This Is Dedicated To The One I Love

    David, my husband, my friend and my lover.

    This was the day we vowed our love
    before our friends and God above.
    In all these years, we have recalled
    the joys our friends wished us, one and all.
    We were grateful for their presence there,
    all who came from far and near.
    May God bless them is what we prayed,
    as He blessed us on our wedding day.
    On December 22, 1974, I married my friend, David!


    Whatever our hands touch---
    We leave fingerprints!
    On walls, on furniture,
    On doorknobs, dishes, books,
    As we touch we leave our identity.

    Oh please where ever I go today,
    Help me leave heartprints!
    Heartprints of compassion
    Of understanding and love.
    Heartprints of kindness
    and genuine concern.

    May my heart touch a lonely neighbor
    Or a runaway daughter,
    Or an anxious mother,
    Or, perhaps, a dear friend!

    I shall go out today
    To leave heartprints,
    And if someone should say
    "I felt your touch,"
    May that one sense be...YOUR LOVE
    Touching through ME.

    Author Unknown

    Make Your Own Traditions

  • Make family valentines by hand.  Busy schedules may allow for only simple creations, but handmade cards are best whenever possible.  These make nice entries in your family scrapbook.
  • Serve a Valentine's Day Breakfast.  Make it a festive tradition, with toast cut into heart shapes and spread with strawberry jelly, flowers on the table, and whatever else your imagination creates to say to your family, "I Love You".
  • Have family members create their own valentine mailboxes and decorate them to suit their fancies.  Let each person deliver a valentine to each of the other mailboxes; then have a "mail call" at breakfast.
  • Think of ways to complete the sentence "I love you because..." for each family member.  Write the completed sentence on a slip of paper and drop it in the valentine mailbox of the person described.  Children who can't yet write can dictate their sentiments to another family member.  The notes take only a few minutes to prepare, but the results can be deeply affirming.  You may even be surprised at the things your family loves most about you!
  • Individualize the valentine tradition of sending flowers.  You can freshen up this almost universal custom by choosing your own "trademark" flower to present every year rather than the standard red splashy bunch of golden mums.  Or leave the flowers to be discovered in the same unusual place each year as your "signature".  Leave a single yellow rose on the bed pillow...on the carseat...in the medicine cabinet!
  • With a little imagination, the unusual can become the traditional in your family's celebration of Valentine's Day.

    Printable Love Coupons

    Adopted Valentine Blinkies

    Proper credit for the adopted valentine blinkies below can be viewed by clicking on the individualblinkie. Thank you to the artists.

    Recommended Reading

    Arthur's Great Big Valentine (An I Can Read Book)
    By Lillian Hoban

    After they have a falling out, Arthur and his best friend Norman make up with very special valentines.

    Barney's Happy Valentine's Day

    This charming holiday book follows Barney as he wishes all of his friends a happy Valentine's Day. Featuring Barney's friends Baby Bop and BJ, "Barney's Happy Valentine's Day" also includes appearances by Professor Tinkerputt, Stella the Storyteller, Mother Goose, and other lovable characters from the popular TV show. Full color plus 8 valentines. Ages 4-8. Pub: 11/97.

    Be My Valentine

    By Katy Bratun (Illustrator) and M.J. Carr
    The course of true love certainly doesn't run smoothly when Isadore Mouse--who doesn't exactly have a way with words--tries to tell Athena that he wants her to be his valentine. Full color throughout.

    Valentine Treats
    Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family
    By Sara Perry, Quentin Bacon
    Nothing says "I love you" like gifts made from the heart, and anyone struck with Cupid's arrow will find plenty of inspiration in Valentine Treats. So say it like you mean it with nostalgic Antique Valentines and a Sweetheart Candy Box. If that's not enough to sway the fickle, then let them hear the sweet Pitter Patter of your Pancakes, and dive into your Chocolate Cookie Truffles. Even the littlest cherubs will join in the fun with simple nosegays, no-fuss Peanut Butter with Love Sandwiches, and Pixie Postcards. Cupid's arrow will hit the bull's eye this holiday with the enchanting ideas in Valentine Treats.

    Gatherin' Emily
    Poems of the Heart
    By Jesse Wilder
    If you stumble over your words when you talk about love, take a lesson from Jesse Wilder. Gatherin' Emily, Jesse Wilder's new book of poems, is a collection of the most inspired, honest, head-over-heels love poems I've seen in a long time.

    All for Love
    By Tasha Tudor
    Love is in the air with this lovely, terribly romantic collection by beloved Caldecott Honor artist Tasha Tudor. Tudor gathers "some of the most wonderful and wise observations on love ever written, by some of the world's greatest romantics," including Michael Drayton, who penned the verse above. With poems, songs, stories, letters, love potions and charms, and excerpts from such luminous writers as Edna St. Vincent Millay, William Shakespeare, Emily Bront, Robert Browning, Chien Wen-ti, Colette, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, All For Love is a celebration of the delicious pain and pleasure of love. Tudor's warm, old-fashioned, full-page watercolors accompany each ode to passion and tenderness.

    Love Is
    By Wendy Anderson Halperin
    Subject of sonnets, songs, and soul searching, love is--and is not--many things. "Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not envious or boastful. Love is not arrogant or rude." In her adaptation of I Corinthians 13, Wendy Anderson Halperin presents the elegantly simple definition of the word "love" the apostle Paul offered 2,000 years ago.


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