Today is Valentine’s Day.
Historically, February 14th was a holiday meant to honour the Christian martyrs who were all named St. Valentine. According to a Google search, the holiday was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, but was removed from the Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI.
Around the 15th century, the holiday developed into one where lovers began to express their love for one another.
In the early 19th century hand written notes gave way to mass produced greeting cards. And in the mid-twentieth century additional gifts such as roses and chocolates were added. Finally in the 1980s, the diamond industry began marketing Valentine’s as a time to also give jewelry.
Valentine’s Day has become an overly commercialized holiday where we are bombarded for weeks with advertisements and messages telling us to make sure we get the perfect gift or we’ll be in the proverbial “doghouse”.
It’s no longer an opportunity to celebrate the special bond between significant others, but has become a day of stress and disappointment. Men rush from store to store, trying to find the perfect gift for their girlfriend/wife, while women imagine the ideal present, only to be disappointed when their husband/boyfriend arrives with flowers, chocolate or a cute little teddy.
Huib and I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day. We don’t see the need for a special day to say “I love you” or for giving one another a gift. We believe in saying “I love you” daily, and giving one another gifts when the opportunity presents itself.
Even though I love chocolate and could always use another teddy to add to my stuffed animal collection, I’d much rather have huib surprise me with one out of the blue, instead of being given one because it was expected.
So, instead of Happy Valentine’s Day, I say no thanks Cupid!