St. Valentine’s Day seems to be filled with stories and legends, but no real facts. One thing is for sure; and that is people of all ages will be giving and receiving a Valentine’s cards and gifts. Here in America, we celebrate by giving our loved ones cards, candies, flowers and other gifts. Some of my most vivid school-time memories are buying valentines for the class, writing names on them and giving them out at our Valentine’s Day party. Sometimes we were given pretty white bags to decorate.
The following is a couple of Valentine’s Day stories that I particularly enjoyed. Also, I have included some activities to help get your grandchildren into the spirit of the holiday.
According to the Catholic Church, there were 3 Saints who had Valentine or Valentinus as their surname. Legend has it that one named Valentine served as a Priest around the 3rd century in Rome. The Emperor Claudius II believed that married soldiers were weaker or less dedicated than unmarried ones. Because of that belief, he made a law banning the marriage of all young men. Allegedly, Valentine, the priest went against Claudius and performed marriage ceremonies in defiance. When this was discovered, Valentine, the Saint was put to death.
Another story tells of a jailor’s daughter visiting Valentine in prison. They fell in love and Valentine sent the first “valentine” greeting to her. It was signed, “From your Valentine”.
It is believed that Americans began crafting and sharing valentines in the early 1700’s. Around the year 1840, a lady named Esther A. Howland began selling some of the first mass-produced “valentines”. She decorated the cards with real lace, ribbons and pictures known as “scrap”.
Approximately 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are given yearly.
Below are several Valentine-themed movies for the kids:
“Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown” (1975) DVD
“Elmo Loves You” (2004) DVD
“Winnie the Pooh – A Valentine for You: Special Edition”
Mickey & Minnie’s Sweetheart Stories” (2004) DVD
“Alvin and the Chipmunks – A Chipmunk Valentine” DVD`
My next article will features Valentine’s Day-themed recipes.