Saturday, February 13, 2010

Celebrating Romance

As with many Christian holidays, the origin of St Valentine’s Day is somewhat unclear. There are different opinions on which Saint Valentine is being revered. Like Christmas and Easter, St. Valentine’s Day is also a mix of Christian and Pagan tradition.
St. Valentine’s Day, is often referred to as a ‘Hallmark Holiday’. For this reason, I always believed Hallmark was responsible for creating the resurgence of this modern holiday to sell more cards. After doing a little research, it looks like Valentine’s Day may have actually been responsible for creating Hallmark and the entire greeting card industry. Exchanging Valentine’s, or cards, is the oldest tradition of the holiday. In 1847, Esther Holland developed a successful business in her Massachusetts home making Valentines cards. Years later, other gifts like candies and flowers became popular gifts. In the 1980’s, the diamond industry began to promote Valentine’s Day as an occasion to give jewelry.
All holidays are meant as symbolic reminders. How we choose to celebrate any holiday or event is up to us. I see Valentine’s Day as a reminder to be grateful for the romance and intimacy I am blessed to share throughout the year. It is a special time to reflect on love. Love is so important, it deserves a holiday. This day should not be an obligation of romance, but an opportunity for sharing. It brings attention to the great desire for romance. This can be an annual lesson on ‘how to be romantic’. It can motivate us each year to think of original ways to express our love. The expression of love is as important to the giver just as it is to the recipient. It is the great joy of giving.
What greater gift can we give than our love? Demonstrating love in our actions every day is the best way to show what is in our hearts. During this St Valentine’s Day, I am thankful for all the love in my life. Most of all, I am thankful for all the years of sharing love with my beautiful wife.
My holiday wish for all is to love yourself and others. Only as much as we love, can we be loved in return. Fill your hearts with love and live in joy.