Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Valentines from Home

I feel bad for Valentine's Day. It's gotten a bum rap as the day that established lovebirds flaunt their status as couples, little kids exchange cards and eat cupcakes in school, and everyone else feels lonely and depressed.

Our culture mostly chooses to see Valentine's Day as a celebration of romantic love, but its roots are historically tied to a handful of early Christian martyrs, all named Valentine, who may or may not have been buried on a February 14. Nothing very romantic about that, is there?  Legends suggest that Valentine was a priest who performed secret marriages or that before Valentine was to be beheaded, he slipped a note to a secret love, signed, "From your Valentine," but they are largely disproven.

Technically,these aren't cherubs..they are putti.
But they still creep me out.
That means that for roughly a thousand years, Saint Valentine was celebrated as a feast day..nothing more and nothing less. It isn't until the 14th century that Valentine's Day can be clearly linked to a celebration of romantic love. 

So I say it's time to take this holiday back to its roots. Let's celebrate love in all its forms - for our families, friends, colleagues, our church, school and office mates...even perfect strangers. 

My family has a long tradition of making valentines for each other. I'm pretty sure we started when my eldest was 3 and my second was about 18 months; all these many years later, I've accumulated quite a stash of favorites and as a gesture of love, I'd like to share them with you.

What Valentine traditions do you and your loved ones enjoy?

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More sweet whisperings of Valentine love:

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