The history of St. Valentine’s Day may depend on the historian varying from tales of noble Christian martyrdom to a romantic and timeless love story…but it may just be a combination of both.
Some experts believe that St. Valentine, a priest during Roman times who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity and believing in the sanctity of marriage, should get the credit. Under Emperor Claudius II, soldiers were forbidden from contracting in marriage. St. Valentine defied the mandate by marrying those who wished to tie the knot with their betrothed. For that he was caught, jailed and condemned to death. Legend has it that in jail he befriended the jailer’s daughter, and that his farewell note to her read “From Your Valentine…”
He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries, where boys would pull out girls names and couples would be formed. Whatever the origins, this timeless story lives as we continue to celebrate the idea of chivalry, love and passion.
Nowadays we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day in many ways. We write cards, give and get flowers and decorate our homes to mark the momentous occasion.
Greeting cards abound bearing many meaningful messages. Somehow someone has already managed to put down on paper exactly what you wanted to say in the first place. Store-bought cards can be beautiful, but don’t forget about the art of making homemade Valentine’s cards for your loved ones, or making it a family project involving your kids or grandkids. You can buy a pre-packaged card making kits or go wild at the craft store and purchase a variety of construction paper, craft scissors, glitter, stamps and scrapbook charms.
One of my most cherished Valentine’s Days happened on the year when I received a very special card from my godmother. Inside there was a beautiful heart-stamped handkerchief. I can still smell its aroma. A few years ago, it left my treasure box in a card addressed to my goddaughter with a note to continue the tradition when she becomes a godmother. Love perpetuates.
Your home can also be a reflection of this lovely time of year with simple yet elegant craft ideas. The heart is the most recognized symbol of Valentine’s Day and this shape is perfect for wreath-making! Purchase a styrofoam heart and silk rose petals. The heart can be painted to match the color of the petals or wrapped with ribbon. With a glue gun, glue the rose petals in a random pattern all over the wreath until it is completely covered and looks full. Use a pin and a little glue to add a silk ribbon at the top for hanging. Great on doors or on walls.
A Valentine’s rose topiary is also perfect for blending this holiday with your personal decor. You can make one with a foam ball, a stick for a trunk and a container of your liking. Mini roses and other small floral picks can be stuck in the topiary form until completely covered. This is your creation and you really can’t go wrong. Use monochromatic flowers, all one flower type or multicolored flowers for different looks. Simple and effective.
Valentine’s Day allows us to express our love and affection for those closest to us. Let’s just make it the first day of a year filled with love.