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All you need is love

If there is a Valentine’s Day equivalent of the Grinch, that’s me. I will also accept comparisons to Ebenezer Scrooge although, frankly, I admire the Grinch’s proactive approach. He didn’t just sit around and grumble about Christmas, snarling “humbug!” at anyone who would listen. No, the Grinch went out and did everything in his power to stop Christmas from coming. Ineffectively, as it turned out, but an “A” for effort.

That being said, Scrooge’s attitude is probably the sensible choice when it comes to Valentine’s Day. Certainly, no power I could harness would come close to stopping the massive commercial machinery that grinds out mounds of heart shaped chocolate boxes, pink and red teddy bears by the ton, and a surfeit of red roses pre-grouped into the requisite dozen.

Nope, Valentine’s Day is coming, so what’s a Grinch to do under the circumstances? Since the commercialism and the general obligatory feeling of this “holiday” are my strongest objections to it, I decided to take a look at the origins of Valentine’s Day for ideas. Perhaps I, like the original Grinch, would find inspiration in the essence of the despised holiday, shorn of all of “its trimmings and trappings.”

Well, it turns out that Valentine’s Day has somewhat murky origins. Several Saint Valentines were martyred in ancient Rome, but next to nothing is known of either their lives or their deaths. The feast of Saint Valentine was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969 when the Catholic church acknowledged that nothing was known about Saint Valentine and the memorial was simply a relic of ancient times.

Nevertheless, several longstanding legends exist around the figure(s) of Saint Valentine. The earliest states that Valentine was persecuted as a Christian, and martyred for refusing to recant his faith and for attempting to convert the Emperor Claudius. He is supposed to have cured his jailer’s daughter of blindness prior to his death.

Some historians believe that Saint Valentine’s Day adopted the celebration of love as a way to Christianize the ancient Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, which took place from February 13th to 15th. February was often considered to be the official beginning of spring, and a time when the mating season in the animal kingdom begins, particularly among birds.

Personally, I think the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to make it exactly what you want it to be. It ought to be about celebrating the people that you love in your life. It shouldn’t be about money or gifts – no matter what the greeting card companies may want you to believe!


Until next time,

Peace, love and vitamin C!



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