Tuesday, February 14, 2012

{Happy Valentine's Day}

I joke that Hallmark created Valentine's Day.. but in truth... we know it goes all the way back to the Romans and the Martyr St. Valentine, who was stoned to death for his newfound faith in Christianity. Cards that symbolize affection have been selling for a long time.

Taken from The Book of the Year, A Brief History of Our Seasonal Holidays - Anthony Aveni
"The mother of the Valentine craze in America, Esther Howland, created beautifully sentimental messages that she hand-painted on quality paper and trimmed with imported lace.  Her well-marketed product netted over $100,000 a year by 1850."

Love is a pretty popular thing, clearly. And Esther Howland, a pretty smart & rich lady.

Valentine's Day is a special day, but I kinda think it's over-rated too. Don't get me wrong, it's good in the sense that you tell your sweetheart you love them. But there's so much pressure to buy all of these silly things. To me... getting chocolates and a card in the middle of November or March or when I don't expect it seems to mean much more. But.. that's my take. I promise I am not a Valentine's Day Grinch. :) I do like the holiday.

I was never a card person. I actually wanted to boycott them. They are SOOOO expensive for just some decorated cardstock. I would rather write a letter with MY thoughts vs. Hallmark. But.. that's me, I get that I am not everyone, thank God right?! :)

But then....
This year I had a new take on cards. Granted, I still feel the same about them - half of me does. And then the other half thinks .. what if those cards were saved for 60 years. What if you could pull them out of a box many, many years later and remember a time that encompassed a very sweet, youthful love?

My Grandma did just that. She saved cards my Grandpa gave her and it just... made me so sentimental and mushy. It made me appreciate cards more for the fact that she had proof, physical items that brought to life a time from long ago. I even found myself smelling these old cards my Grandfather gave her, wondering if he sprayed cologne on them before he mailed them. Oh the days of long ago. The nostalgia of long ago love... it's beautiful.

More ironic even - they sent one another the SAME identical card... ah true love. True love.

Happy Nostalgic Valentine's Day...

If you'd like to read more about this particular love story... go here.