Happy Valentines Day!


Although Valentine’s Day has derailed quite a bit from its original meaning, I still quite like the holiday as it is today.  I think a lot of people look at it as a commercial holiday that promotes you to buy a lot of stuff you don’t need to express a love that you should be showing every day — and I completely agree with that.  But I also like to look at it on the flip side as a special day that people can look forward to (hopefully), and it’s not about only showing your love on this day, but more like celebrating your love, or the existence of love at all, on a special day.

For those who enjoy or celebrate birthdays, it’s kind of like that.  You live every day, but a birthday is an annual celebration of the fact that you are alive!  It’s a reminder that you came into the world, and a good time for people to tell you what they probably wouldn’t tell you every day: that they love you and are happy you are in their lives.  Valentine’s Day is sort of the same thing, I think.

Personally, I think that the traditional chocolate and flowers and Valentine’s Day cards, with dinner at a nice place, is very sweet.  (I’m a fan of tradition, if you couldn’t already tell XP)  But the thing is, the point is not what you buy, but what you give.

Just as sweet, and maybe even more meaningful, would be giving hand-made chocolates (or anything else!) that is specifically tailored to the tastes of your valentine, hand-picked flowers (doesn’t have to be a beautiful bouquet, as long as you picked it for your Valentine), or a hand-made card (regardless of whether or not you have artistic quality or a way with words).  And for dinner, getting all dressed up for a guy to take the girl to his place and cook nice food for her, is also very sweet :)

(I was trying to get away from “guy doing this for a girl,” but I don’t think I really could, so I gave up at the end XD)

Anyways, those are just some ideas.  Girls love hand-made things, because it’s personal.  It doesn’t have to be amazing or professional, it just has to be sincere.

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Originally, Valentine’s Day was a feast for St. Valentine, one of fourteen martyrs named Valentine from ancient Rome.  The story I heard before was that the St. Valentine we refer to with Valentine’s Day was very loving and giving, and he took care of children (or something?).  I’m a little fuzzy on all the details.  I’ve also heard that at some point, he was in prison, and sent a letter signed, “From, Your Valentine.”  Supposedly that’s where we get that phrase from.  Please correct me on any of this, because I didn’t really read the linked article closely, and my memory tends to be spotty XD;

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In the Western culture, Valentine’s Day is typically a day where the guy does stuff for the girl.  He brings her flowers, he gives her chocolates, he takes her to dinner and out to whatever else they’re planning to do.

In some parts of Asia, there’s a slightly different convention.  Valentine’s Day is the day that girls give to guys — and she doesn’t only give to her significant, but to all the guys (classmates, father, brother, coworkers, etc).  Typically, she’ll give them lesser quality chocolates, and then she will give hand-made or very expensive chocolate to the guy she likes.

Then, on March 14, which is called White Day, guys are supposed to give presents to all the girls that gave them chocolates on Valentine’s Day.  I think typically they have to give a certain amount more to each girl (so guys still get kind of the short end of that stick XD).  I’ve also heard that the guy only gives presents to the girl if he returns her affections.  I guess it depends on the culture, but I kind of like this exchange ^w^

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It’s also fun to hear stories about people’s Valentine’s Day.  Some guys are really creative and romantic!  I heard one story on the radio about a lady who received a letter, along with her two female friends, from their husbands that told them that they were to be Charlie’s Angels and had a mission.  They were to dress up and go downtown to purchase a cap gun, and then get someone to take a picture of them doing their best Charlie’s Angels pose.  Then, they received their second mission: to purchase whipped cream and a single red rose, and get pictures taken with those.  When they were done with that, they were to drive to their church, where  tall and handsome man would take them to where they needed to go.  They arrived at the church and were taken into the chapel, where their husbands were each waiting there, dressed as groomsmen, and they renewed their wedding vows.  There was even a small, catered reception afterwards, with a wedding cake :)  How fancy!

Oh, a good Valentine’s Day movie, I think: Kate & Leopold.  It doesn’t top Ever After on my list, but I’ll have to say that all guys should be like Leopold :P

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Holiday traditions are fun :3  What’s your Valentine’s Day tradition?

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