This “lover’s holiday” was created when Christians gained power in the Roman Empire by the Catholic Church to replace the Roman tradition of teenagers gathering every February in the name of Lupercus, god of flocks, to celebrate fertility and randomly choose a “mate” (you know what this means) with a celebration in honour St. Valentine, a symbol of more “wholesome” love that inspired the ritual of sending respectful notes of affection.
Today, the modernized, super-sized tradition has us buying more than 150 million cards every year. Now I love Hello Kitty, Spiderman, and Snoopy as much as the next person but unless you collect your valentines from each year, that is a lot of paper that ends up in the trash (not to mention manufacturing resources wasted). Valentine’s Day has been commercialized like almost every other holiday to be a reason for shopping, whether it is candy for the annual classroom exchange or expensive jewellery for your significant other.
It is easy to forget that there are other ways to show your loved ones that you care, although it might take more time than going to the shop and pulling out your wallet. Handmade gifts are always special and I know I appreciate them exactly because of the personal thought and effort put into them. And don’t forget, the gift of time and company is unbeatable.
So next year, before you head to the mall for the annual Valentine’s Day spree, ponder a bit about love – does it have to be reflected through material gifts? – you just might save the environment, and more importantly, some of your hard-earned dollars.
Well, maybe with exception of flowers and chocolate…
Wishing you a
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
In case anyone was wondering, the condensed history of Valentine’s Day was taken from the reliable and entertaining source of Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.
Thanks for reading,