Love it or hate it, people have strong associations with Valentine’s Day. Often considered a Hallmark holiday for consisting of remarkably high-pressured gift purchases for everything from cards and boxed chocolates to gemstone tokens of love; the tradition of this holiday has quite a history.
Somewhat of a mystery to its roots, the conception of Valentine’s Day seems to have many origins. According to History.com, there are tales of the Catholic St. Valentine’s death being celebrated in ancient Rome, though the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints of this name. The most notable was of Valentine, who was later killed for performing marriage for young couples after Emperor Claudius outlawed marriage for young men who he believed were more fit for military than family.
A more dramatic and maybe a bit scandalous theory to the origins of this holiday come from a pagan celebration called Lupercalia, an ancient Roman festival that sacrificed animals in an effort to encourage fertility. Women who embraced the hides of the sacrificed animals would be blessed with fertility in the upcoming year and would place their names in a giant urn where male suitors would choose from and be paired up for the remainder of the year.
Others contend that February 14 was the beginning of the birds' mating season and tied the significance of Valentine’s Day to one of romance.
Whichever history you choose to buy into, Valentine’s Day for Americans is believed to have started in the early 1700s, with handmade gestures, though transitioned to mass-produced declarations of love in the 1840s. The title of “Mother of Valentine’s Day” is given to Esther Howland, who began these sales with her elaborate cards decorated with lace and ribbons.
Contrary to what the retailers have us believing, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive or over the top. Get romantic and creative at home instead of shelling out a few Benjamin’s this year. Here are some great tips and cost saving ideas to celebrate Valentines on a budget.
- Yesterday, Patch posted some last-minute Valentine's Day gift ideas that you can find in Bonney Lake and Sumner. Read more .
- Unlike most retailers, Costco flowers remain within budget and offer more than your standard red rose option. Great bouquets under $20.
- Redbox.com is offering up free movie rentals through Facebook. Need a few titles to keep you cuddling? Depending on your relationship, consider Sleepless in Seattle for a classic throw-back to finding love, The Notebook for a heart-jerking tear-fest, Crazy Stupid Love for a funny, entertaining and cool take on falling in love (not to mention some great moments featuring Ryan Gosling’s abs) or Friends with Benefits for hip, modern laughs with a killer soundtrack and JT at his finest.
- Check out over 40 free or low cost date ideas at WomanTribute.com that include wine tasting (bound to end well) and amateur night at a local bar or coffee shop. How about skipping rocks at the lake and stargazing? While there, try a game of “Bloop," plucked from the high school days. To play: grab 3 rocks, and be the first person to throw a rock into the lake. Kiss your partner until you hear the rock hit the water (bloop!). The second person, usually the man, geared with competitiveness vows to make it a longer throw – and longer kiss. The first person tries again and not to be outdone, throws the rock but much to their partners surprise, never let’s go. You get the idea.
- Think outside the box for this high-stakes date and surprise your love with one of these ideas from CoolestDates.com. It’s not cheesy if you make a solid attempt at spending time together. Ideas include filling the bedroom with helium balloons and eating fruit while playing a board game in bed (if you get that far) or a candlelight dinner on your living room floor.
- For the fellas: need more ideas? Check out AskMen.com’s 2012 Valentine’s Day Guide which offers up gift ideas, things to do and even how to spend the day solo.
Fun facts and superstitions to quiz your Valentine with:
- Be careful of what your roses say. Each color of rose is thought to have emotional significance. Red symbolizes love, respect and romance. Pink speaks happiness, perfection and sweetness. White communicates secrecy, innocence and purity. Coral implied desire which peach means sympathy and appreciation. And yellow is for friendship, joy and jealousy. (Courtesy of Tillie’s Flower Shop)
- Although men spend nearly twice as much on Valentine’s Day as women do, more than 33 percent of men would prefer not to receive a gift. (www.wisebread.com)
- Valentine’s Day gets “busy” -- more at-home pregnancy tests are sold in March than any other month of the year. (www.wisebread.com)
- Birds play a large part in Valentine superstitions. It is said that the type of bird a young girl watches on this day will predict her mate. Sparrows signify a poor man, bluebirds a happy one. A crossbill is said to imply an argumentative husband where an owl will seal her fate as a spinster. A goldfinch eludes to a millionaire while a robin implies a crime fighter. (www.stvalentinesday.org)
- It is considered lucky to be woken with a kiss on Valentine’s Day. (www.stvalentinesday.org) Is there were “get lucky” comes from?