1909 Valentine’s Card. Credit: Wikipedia
One thing I’ve been thinking about recently is what makes people feel loved.
It seems that Valentine's cards and gifts are becoming less popular. I thought I'd find out more.
My husband and I have always sent each other cards and gifts, but recently I've been wondering about the history of the Valentine. Exactly why do we exchange cards? I had a feeling there was a connection to the card making industry, but it seems that Valentine’s Day has a much longer history.
Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine is celebrated on 14th February. It began as a religious holiday to honour an early saint or possibly several saints called Valentinius. And it wasn’t until the 18th century in England that people began exchanging cards. These were hand written love notes or ‘Valentines’. Flowers and candies were sometimes given, and keys were also sent to unlock the lover’s heart!
I discovered that women purchase about 85 percent of all Valentines. Does that mean that the majority of them don’t ever get anything back? Hallmark cards claim that 144 million people buy Valentine’s cards... Am I alone in worrying about the recycling?
If we want to make something ourselves a hand made card or gift is often even nicer. Perhaps we should go back to exchanging hand drawn hearts and messages. There are certainly lots of lovely artisan independent designers for that more individual personalised card or gift, who put a whole lot of love into what they do. I don't know about you, but I love cards and gifts that are created by people who love what they are doing.
I also began to think about people who may not be in a relationship. Sadly my Dad recently passed away and so my lovely Mum will be on her own for the first time in over 50 years. This made me think: should we feel bad if we are not in a partnership. There are so many single people for so many reasons, that I really don’t think so. I'll be sending a little something to my Mum to make her feel loved.
Update: In the end I decided to phone her on the morning of Valentine's Day and told her I loved her. This of course made her cry and I cried too, but we talked about my Dad. In the end she was really touched that I thought to phone her on V Day, and I think it really made har feel much happier than she might otherwise have been.
Singles Awareness Day 11th March
Did you know that there is a special day called Singles Awareness Day? It seems to have started as a bit of a backlash against Valentine's Day. I discovered that In the UK it's 11th March, China it’s 11th November and in America there's a National Singles Day on 22nd September. The idea is that singles gather together to have fun and also buy gifts for themselves. A treat if you like. I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of buying something lovely for myself and having fun. That’s something everybody should be able to do without feeling guilty, whether in a relationship or not!
Galentine’s Day 13th February
A more recent celebration first seen in the American series Parks and Recration (2010) is credited with starting Galentine's day. Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope said “It’s only the best day of the year”.
It seems that Galentine’s Day, despite its youth is growing fast. A quick peek on Pinterest and you'll notice just how many Galentine’s boards there are. Whether or not you celebrate Valentine’s, you may really enjoy Galentine’s. I mean who needs an excuse to spend time with your besties? So gather your friends and a good movie, a bottle of wine or a pot of tea, a few nibbles and share some laughs.
Biscuits courtesy of http://www.sugarplumbakes.com (thanks Vaani xx)
I’d like to wish you all love and happiness, whether it’s for valentine's, galantine's or singles day. Lets just try and have a happy day every day. Hopefully we can all be more inclusive and celebrate love!
Please do support artisan makers and let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Of course we need more love in the world every day and not just on these special days! We also need more self-love, so be good to those you love all year round and remember to make time for yourself too!
Sending you all love and sparkles,