Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day. Not to be confused with Val-um-time's Day, a holiday occuring the same day, but only celebrated by the 5-and-under crowd.  

MOTH calls me a 'holiday squelcher'.  I don't like Valentine's Day.  I'm really don't like Halloween.  I'm not a fan of Thanksgiving.  It's true. But in my defense, I do like Labor Day.  And Memorial Day.  And Mother's Day.  And Christmas. I LOVE Christmas!   Now, back to Valentine's Day.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm a fan of love.  Really, I am.  I LOVE love.  I love the idea of love.  I love being in love.  But I detest the commercialization of Valentine's Day.   I also hate the idea of being obligated to "do" Valentine's Day.    And, like with all holidays . . . I'm not a fan of giving gifts because you feel obligated or because there's an alterior motive.  Gifts should come from the heart and be given freely every day . . . with no strings attached.   MOTH and I had this conversation just this morning.

I asked, "What's the deal with Valentine's Day, anyway?" 
He took that as an out and reminded me . . . "it's when your fabulous husband buys you a hip new jacket to keep his love toasty warm." 
I pressed, "No, other than that . . what's the history . . . do you know?"
He said, "Yeah, it had something to do with a Saint.  It's probably a Catholic holiday that's been commercialized by florists and chocolatiers for massive profit."
And then my cheery self chimed in . . . "Wasn't there a massacre?  Maybe lover's named Valentine were massacred.  Romantic."

And so here I am . . . blogging . . . . and researching Valentine's Day, to further my academic awareness and develop my person. 

Yes, there was a massacre.  A famous massacre in 1929 between rival gangs in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.  Seven died.  It's called the Valentine's Day massacre because it happened ON Valentine's Day.  It has, obviously, nothing to do with love.

And now on to Saint Valentine.  He was real and there is legend that surrounds him.  I'll let you read it for yourself, othewise I'd just quote the whole thing:

Kind of a sweet story -- Romeo and Juliet-esque.   But I'm still not sold.  We don't celebrate it that way.  We don't reverently remember a man who was executed for failure to renounce his religion.  Hmm.  Reminiscent of the religion post I've been working on.  Still unpublished.

I digress.  And yet I press on.

In my household, Valentine's Day is about a color and shape scheme.   I'm making heart-shaped personal pizzas or calzones for dinner.  With chocolate milk and chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert.  I made cookies for Big's party at school.  The always handy and super fabulous cake box cookie from my mommy toolbox of last minute magic.  I'll post the recipe soon, since I had to call Homestead for it AGAIN.  Special thanks since she was willing to trek to the shed and go digging for it. 

We personalized Valentines.  Yes, personalized.  Notice how I didn't say MADE, right?  I have an inside track to a paper-crafting machine who sells her adorable creations on Etsy.  She mass produced cute things for me.  Small price, but it beats the every day run of the mill perforated nightmares with the un-stickable stickers. 

And we made Valentine's Boxes for school parties.  Here's Big's campfire box, crafted from a hot chocolate container . . 

And here's Middle's aquarium.  Ironically, also crafted from a hot chocolate box.  Apparently, we drink alot of hot chocolate.

And that's it.  I'll show them extra love today, in honor of Saint Valentine, and the friendship he formed with the mystery women from the legends.  But, there's only a little bit of room for wiggle . . . I'll still be grumpy about commercialized Hallmark holidays.  And I'll still be a touchy crotchity about thoughtless gifts for poor occasions that come with emotional strings. 

Enough said . .  Happy VD!

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