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So tomorrow is Valentines day and while many do think it has become commercialized in the last few decades, it actually has a long history. Personally here, we don’t do that much for Valentines day. We focus on Matthew’s Birthday instead but here are some great resources. I also added a chocolate theme on Matthew’s Kitchen you can check out with a course coming soon and a Valentines day themed cooking day for more fun resources. No matter how you end up celebrating the day, we hope you enjoy it.
Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a minor Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine and, through later folk traditions, has become a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions of the world.
There are a number of martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines connected to February 14, including an account of the imprisonment of Saint Valentine of Rome for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire in the third century. According to an early tradition, Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his jailer. Numerous later additions to the legend have better related it to the theme of love: an 18th-century embellishment to the legend claims he wrote the jailer’s daughter a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell before his execution; another addition posits that Saint Valentine performed weddings for Christian soldiers who were forbidden to marry.
The Feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honour of Saint Valentine of Rome, who died on that date in AD 269. The day became associated with romantic love in the 14th and 15th centuries when notions of courtly love flourished, apparently by association with the “lovebirds” of early spring. In 18th-century England, it grew into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. In Italy, Saint Valentine’s Keys are given to lovers “as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart”, as well as to children to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine’s Malady).
Saint Valentine’s Day is not a public holiday in any country, although it is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church. Many parts of the Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day on July 6 in honor of Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and on July 30 in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni).
n 1797, a British publisher issued The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which contained scores of suggested sentimental verses for the young lover unable to compose his own. Printers had already begun producing a limited number of cards with verses and sketches, called “mechanical valentines.” Paper Valentines became so popular in England in the early 19th century that they were assembled in factories. Fancy Valentines were made with real lace and ribbons, with paper lace introduced in the mid-19th century. In 1835, 60,000 Valentine cards were sent by post in the United Kingdom, despite postage being expensive.
A reduction in postal rates following Sir Rowland Hill’s postal reforms with the 1840 invention of the postage stamp (Penny Black) saw the number of Valentines posted increase, with 400,000 sent just one year after its invention, and ushered in the less personal but easier practice of mailing Valentines. That made it possible for the first time to exchange cards anonymously, which is taken as the reason for the sudden appearance of racy verse in an era otherwise prudishly Victorian. Production increased, “Cupid’s Manufactory” as Charles Dickens termed it, with over 3,000 women employed in manufacturing. The Laura Seddon Greeting Card Collection at Manchester Metropolitan Universitygathers 450 Valentine’s Day cards dating from early nineteenth century Britain, printed by the major publishers of the day. The collection appears in Seddon’s book Victorian Valentines (1996). Flowers, such as red roses (pictured), are often sent on Valentine’s Day.
In the United States, the first mass-produced Valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after 1847 by Esther Howland (1828–1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father operated a large book and stationery store, but Howland took her inspiration from an English Valentine she had received from a business associate of her father. Intrigued with the idea of making similar Valentines, Howland began her business by importing paper lace and floral decorations from England. A writer in Graham’s American Monthly observed in 1849, “Saint Valentine’s Day … is becoming, nay it has become, a national holyday.” The English practice of sending Valentine’s cards was established enough to feature as a plot device in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mr. Harrison’s Confessions (1851): “I burst in with my explanations: ‘The valentine I know nothing about.’ ‘It is in your handwriting’, said he coldly.” Since 2001, the Greeting Card Association has been giving an annual “Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary”.
Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. In the UK, just under half of the population spend money on their Valentines, and around £1.9 billion was spent in 2015 on cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts. The mid-19th century Valentine’s Day trade was a harbinger of further commercialized holidays in the U.S. to follow. A gift box of chocolates, which is a common gift for Valentine’s Day
In 1868, the British chocolate company Cadbury created Fancy Boxes – a decorated box of chocolates – in the shape of a heart for Valentine’s Day. Boxes of filled chocolates quickly became associated with the holiday. In the second half of the 20th century, the practice of exchanging cards was extended to all manner of gifts, such as giving jewelry.
The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately 190 million valentines are sent each year in the US. Half of those valentines are given to family members other than husband or wife, usually to children. When the valentine-exchange cards made in school activities are included the figure goes up to 1 billion, and teachers become the people receiving the most valentines. The average valentine’s spending has increased every year in the U.S, from $108 a person in 2010 to $131 in 2013.
The rise of Internet popularity at the turn of the millennium is creating new traditions. Millions of people use, every year, digital means of creating and sending Valentine’s Day greeting messages such as e-cards, love coupons or printable greeting cards. An estimated 15 million e-valentines were sent in 2010. Valentine’s Day is considered by some to be a Hallmark holiday due to its commercialization.
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Valentine’s Day Dot Marker Printables – Two Pink Peonies
DIY Yarn Hearts – Drugstore Divas
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Cute Valentines Gnome Paper Craft for Kids to Make – Two Kids and a Coupon
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EASY WATERCOLOR VALENTINE CARDS FOR KIDS TO MAKE – Projects with Kids
Valentine’s Day Pointillism Art – Coffee and Carpool
Rocket Valentine Craft For Kids [Free Template] – Simple Everyday Mom
Love Monster Craft For Kids [Free Template] – Simple Everyday Mom
Home is where the Origami Heart is! – Origami Expressions
Unicorn Valentine Cards – The Inspiration Edit
How to Make Valentine’s Day Cards With Help From Pom Poms – Lil Tigers
25+ Best Valentine’s Day Messages for Kids – Lil Tigers
How to Make Toothbrush Spray Art With Kids – Lil Tigers
PAINTING ROCKS WITH LOVE: PAINTED MANDALA HEARTS – Sustain my Craft Habit
Valentine’s Day Coloring Pages – FREE Printable – April Golightly
Pinkalicious: Pink of Hearts by Victoria Kann
Everyone in her class is assigned to make an extra-special Valentine’s Day card for one person in the class. Pinkalicious creates a magnificently pinkerrific card. Will the valentine that she gets in return measure up?
This 8×8 paperback can be enjoyed as a Valentine’s Day gift for young Pinkalicious fans and by all little ones looking for a fun story. The cards, stickers, and poster provide even more value and fun!
Love from The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
You are the cherry on my cake; you make the sun shine brighter; you make my heart flutter.
Using a range of images from the World of Eric Carle, and featuring the Very Hungry Caterpillar, this special gift book gives all the reasons why someone special makes the world a better and brighter place.
The Berenstain Bears’ Valentine Blessings by Mike Berenstain
n The Berenstain Bears’ Valentine Blessings, young readers and Sister Bear find out that Brother Bear has a secret admirer! Sweetie Bear has sent him a valentine card, complete with pink hearts and flowers. What will tough, hockey-playing Brother do about this and his teasing sister? But Papa Bear steps in to save the day, telling the cubs a story about another set of young cubs and a secret admirer … Papa and Mama Bear! And he reminds the cubs that all love comes from God, who is love.