Surprisingly, many Villagers still love the romance of the holiday.
Story: Joe Angione
In decades past, Valentine’s Day was a big deal for my wife and me. It was a time to officially reaffirm love for each other with a card in the shape of a big red heart filled with words of passionate love. Plus, I’d give her a box of chocolates and if I had a few extra bucks, some red roses.
However, after 55 years of happy marriage, and the shared knowledge that we love each other every day, our attention to Valentine’s Day has mellowed some.
Why should Valentine’s Day be a special day on calendars? The website history.com explains: “The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named principally for a Christian martyr, St. Valentine of Rome, dating back to the fifth century.”
According to Wikipedia, St. Valentine was in prison for performing weddings for soldiers forbidden to get married. While imprisoned, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asturias. Just before his death, he wrote her a letter and signed it “your Valentine” as a goodbye.
Valentine’s Day was first associated with romantic love in the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when chivalry flourished and courtly love was an inspiration.
But is Valentine’s Day too tainted by commercialism? Not for most Villagers. Here, the observance of this day of romance is a remembrance of love that endures. Villagers tell me Feb. 14 is still a meaningful day for spouses to show love remains strong and is for all time.
They say they still celebrate Valentine’s Day with cards, flowers, and chocolates. Some also go out to dinner. A few decorate front doors with hearts or display a flag to mark the day.
All agree Valentine’s Day has a sincere purpose that’s more than retail. And it’s not necessary to spend money to celebrate. Most important is expressing love, which can be as simple as an extra hug and a big kiss.
One neighbor notes, “Valentine’s Day can be a lovely reminder to cherish love. Like many other holidays, it’s only as commercial and promotional as people choose to make it.”
Another friend adds: “We celebrate Valentine’s Day because romance is fun, love is wonderful, and life is short.”
I think most Villagers agree Valentine’s Day means being in love and showing love are among the greatest experiences of our lives.