Ex-nay on Valentine's Day

G and I don't celebrate Valentine's Day on February 14th.

Why?

Because every day is special to us and we don't feel the need to support a "corporate holiday," on behalf of Hallmark.

We understand that there is history behind Valentine's Day, but to us, today, it just means there's another reason to waste money on needless things.

The holiday probably derives from the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalis (February 15), also called the Lupercalia. In an annual rite of fertility, eligible young men and women would be paired as couples through a town lottery. Briefly clad or naked men would then run through the town carrying the skins of newly sacrificed goats dipped in blood. The women of the town would present themselves to be gently slapped by the strips and marked by the blood to improve their chances of conceiving in the coming year.

As Christianity came to dominance in Europe, pagan holidays such as Lupercalia were frequently renamed for early Christian martyrs. In 496 Pope Gelasius officially declared February 14 to be the feast day of two Roman martyrs, both named Saint Valentine, who lived in the 3rd century. Neither Saint Valentine seems to have an obvious connection to courtship or lovers.

Despite attempts by the Christian church to sanctify the holiday, the association of Valentine’s Day with romance and courtship continued through the Middle Ages. In medieval France and England it was believed that birds mated on February 14, and the image of birds as the symbol of lovers began to appear in poems dedicated to the day. By the 18th century it was common for friends and lovers to exchange handwritten notes on Valentine’s Day. Printed cards had largely replaced written sentiments by the 19th century. In 1840 Esther Howland of Worcester, Massachusetts, created the first line of mass-produced Valentines for sale. Today, Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas as the most popular card-sending holiday.

I'm proud to be a woman that doesn't feel the need to be doted upon on a corporate holiday. I am always more pleasantly surprised on any given day to receive flowers, than I would be if I received them on Valentine's Day. I don't even like roses that much! I like Lilys and Alstroemerias! I like to be doted upon on our anniversary and on my birthday. Even my birthday isn't a big deal to me, but it's still "my day."

Last year, G spent Valentine's Day in Seattle visiting E. I was okay with that and still am.

Don't get me wrong. I think Valentine's Day is great fun for kids in elementary school. My problem arises when junior high and high school rolls around. This "holiday" becomes a time for girls to put pressure on guys to dote on them, and for those girls to expect to have a freakin' Valentine! It's stupid. I just don't get the "holiday." Would anyone like to shed some light on this? Do you feel differently?

2 comments:

Kristan February 10, 2009 at 9:29 AM  

Well I think you have a point about the artificial/unnecessary pressure it puts on kids in their teens -- a time that is already filled with SO MUCH pressure.

But I admit, I like Valentine's. Low-key, though. We just go out to a nice dinner (which we do most weekends, lol). So it's not all that different, but it's nice to make sure that even if you're busy, you take some time out for one another.

Sandi February 10, 2009 at 1:02 PM  

I think V day sucks too! Brandon is leaving for Nigeria at the crack dawn on the 14th. This is the second year in a row that he spends Valentines day in Africa. I am OVER it! It's just another damn day!