A day to express our love

February 2, 2009

by Jenni Sebora

A day to express one’s love to family, friends, and sweethearts is the essence of Valentine’s Day.

How did this special holiday come about?

The Romans celebrated a festival called Lupercalia on Feb. 15. It is said that young men held a lottery to decide which girl would become theirs. The festival was held to ward off wolves from their flocks.

There was also a belief that birds or fowl pick their mates on Feb. 14.

Regarding birds, some people believed that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, it meant that she would marry a sailor. If she spotted a sparrow, she would marry a poor man, but be very happy; if she saw a goldfinch, she would be betrothed to a rich person.

A Frenchman, Duke of Orleans, Charles, is credited with writing and giving the first valentine.

Captured by the English during the battle of Agincourt in 1415, the duke, on Valentine’s Day, sent his wife a love letter from the tower he was imprisoned.

In 1537, the King of England Henry VIII declared Feb. 14 a holiday. This was the official start of Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

(Sources: www.everythingvalentinesday.com; www.sunniebunniezz.com/holiday)

Whatever may be the “true” beginning of this special holiday, Valentine’s Day is about expressing our love to the people we care about.

Probably the best Valentine’s Day gift we can give our children is time spent with them. This also may be the best gift we can give our significant other. My husband and I certainly don’t have much time to spend solely with each other. We have to make the time – and this alone time is important.

As they say, one of the best gifts our children can receive is the role modeling of a healthy, positive relationship between their parents.

And, as parents, the words and sentiments of love from our children can melt our hearts in seconds.

Here’s a valentine idea we can make with our children, or our children can make for the special people in their lives: valentines made with pipe cleaners and beads.

Using a pipe cleaner, string on beads; then, bend the beaded pipe cleaner into the form of a heart. Tie on a piece of candy or a sentiment written on paper.

The Love Foundation reminds us that the power of love is within each of us each moment. Practicing acts of love and kindness will help bring kindness to our world, www.thelovefoundation.com noted.

This foundation also reminds us that forgiveness is the easiest and the most powerful act of kindness. A wonderful gift for Valentine’s Day may be an act of forgiveness or another act of kindness.

May we each give an act of love and kindness on Valentine’s Day that will truly remind us that in this act of sharing and giving, we receive the same in return.

Happy Valentine’s Day.