A day many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special "valentine."  

The day we call Valentine's Day actually got its name from two Christians who were put to death for their faith.  Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred in 269 A.D. and Valentine of Terni who was a bishop and said to have been martyred by Emperor Aurelian in 273 A.D.  Although it is becoming more obscure, many Christians celebrate February 14th as St. Valentine's Day in honor of those early martyrs named Valentine.

No one really knows exactly how this day turned from a celebration of martyrs to a celebration of lovers.  Some believe the transition began in the Middle Ages when there were many pagan fertility festivals that were held all over Europe as the Winter came to an end.  Traditionally lovers would exchange hand written notes expressing their love for one another.  Commercial cards came into existence in the middle of the 19th century--and that is when the explosion happened.

In 2017 approximately 144 mission valentines cards were exchanged industry wide (not including the packaged kid valentines for classroom exchanges).  This makes Valentines Day the second largest "holiday" for card giving.  According to the people who figure this stuff out the average person celebrating Valentines Day will spend $136.  The cards have become larger--some even life size.  The teddy bears have grown to enormous sizes.  One rose is no longer enough, 1, 2 and even 3 dozen are now the norm.  Taking the one you are trying to impress out for a meal is no longer enough.  Limousines, fancy restaurants, and expensive bottles of wine are now necessary.

I am all about impressing your spouse, lover, boyfriend/girlfriend, but I wonder if we have forgotten a simple truth.  One's love for another cannot be expressed in a card written by another, an expensive box of chocolates made in a factory, or even a nice meal prepared by a chef in a fancy restaurant.  I am not advocating for being a cheapskate, but rather encouraging you to remember that sometimes the simple things say more.  Holding hands, being kind, respect, a hand-written note, giving of yourself for the other, not being so selfish may all say "I love you" in clear and certain terms.

This is my story...