Valentines Presents / January 9, 2019 / Alta Gentry
Sound nice? No. Not nice. Just truly truly terrible. Unless youve been buried underground youve probably been inundated with Valentines present ideas via spam emails and TV adverts constantly advising you not to forget your sweetheart; imploring for romantic getaways... weekend theatre tickets... restaurant deals...... Valentines day presents for men... Valentines presents for her... the list goes on. Whether Valentines Day is a delight or fills you with fright when and why did this event turn into such a big deal? Does anyone actually remember the origin of February 14th and what its original meaning was? And what on earth happened to the good old days of cards sealed with red wax left secretly at a lovers doorstep... cutting out paper hearts... gobbling down a couple of powdery sweets embossed with Be Mine and being done with it? As we know it Valentines Day is a time of year when theoretically the lovely lady or gent in your life flatters you with Valentines presents usually in the form of chocolates...sweets... roses... clothes... hats or stuffed animals.
The country was under the power of the hard-hearted Roman Emperor Claudius II who at the time forbade marriage ceremonies and constantly betrothed Rome in bloody battles. He had a crazy idea. He thought if a man wasnt married he wouldnt mind joining the army. But to his horror Claudius discovered that men were reluctant to join the army because of their loyalty to their wives and families. So he sanctioned a callous order that banned engagements and marriages in Rome. But in spite of this Saint Valentine continued to perform marriage rituals. Thrown into jail it was said that Valentine fell in love with his jailors daughter and restored her sight through his Christian faith and devotion for her. Before his execution Valentine sent her a final message signed "From your Valentine" - a phrase that gets a lot of mileage and one which has become an everlasting symbol of camaraderie and warmth.
But poor St. Valentine as is usually the case with secret clauses was caught and sentenced to death. Legend Two Another legend claims that Valentine was a prisoner who fell in love with a young woman who came to visit him regularly. Legend has it that this visitor was his jailors daughter. On the day of his death on February 14th 269 A.D. Valentine wrote her a love letter signed with: "Your Valentine." And that ladies and gentlemen is how the phrase "Be my Valentine" came into being and of course why we exchange Valentines Day presents. Legend Three Whats more the pagan Romans had a fertility celebration in the middle of February called Lupercalia. Many folks believed that spring brought the renewal of life in the middle of February therefore a "love lottery" was held.