Monday, January 23, 2012

In Celebration of Love and Martyred Saints

Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. 
Personally, I adopt as many celebrations as possible, be they Catholic, Christian, Pagan, Buddhist or Muppet.  We get one real shot at this life and I like to think that, while I celebrate every day I wake up, there's always room for more reasons to celebrate.  If one or more of those "holidays" can be exploited by consumeristic, profiteering, mass-production businesses, then by golly, they can sure be exploited by me.

To that end, here's a few things you may, or may not have known about Valentine's Day:

  • Many believe the 'X' symbol became synonymous with the kiss in medieval times. People who couldn't write their names signed in front of a witness with an 'X.' The 'X' was then kissed to show their sincerity.
  • Casanova, well known as "The World's Greatest Lover," ate chocolate to make him virile.
  • Physicians of the 1800's commonly advised their patients to eat chocolate to calm their pining for lost love.
  • More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine's Day.
  • Over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine's Day in the U.S.
  • Every Valentine's Day, the Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.
  • Over 50 percent of all Valentine's Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the observance, making Valentine's Day a procrastinator's delight. (Source: Hallmark research)
  • 112,185 marriages were performed in Nevada during 2008. (My own Vegas elopement was in 2009)
  • So many couples "tie the knot" in the Silver State that it ranked fourth nationally in marriages, even though it's total population that year among states was 35th.
  • 53% of women in America would dump their boyfriends if they did not get them anything for Valentine's Day
  • Approximately one billion Valentines are sent out worldwide each year according to estimates by the U.S. Greeting Card Association. That's second only to Christmas.
  • Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all Valentines.
  • Teachers will receive the most Valentine's Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets.
  • Men spend double what women spend on Valentine's day: $158.71 compared to $75.79
  • 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine's Day
  • 73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine's Day are men, while only 27 percent are women.
  • About 8 billion candy hearts will be produced this year; that’s enough candy to stretch from Rome, Italy to Valentine, Arizona 20 times and back again
  • According to a Durex survey, condom sales are highest around Valentine's Day -- 20 to 30% more than usual
  • More at-home pregnancy tests are sold in March than in any other month

Need some ideas or inspiration?

*   One year I wrote 100 reasons why I love my man - I printed them out and cut them in to little strips and used them to replace the flags of Hershey's kisses.  (Yes, I had to un-wrap and re-wrap them all.)

*   Post-it makes some heart-shaped sticky notes that I use all year to leave spontaneous happy notes for both my husband and son.

*   I use a dry-erase marker to write notes on bathroom mirrors.

*   When my guys go on trips I sneak notes and/or candies in to their bags or coat pockets.  I've also been know to put them in their shoes in the morning.

Here's a few other goodies I've found:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be Nice...