Celebration – Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day … the holiday of love and romance!

Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year on February 14 in many countries around the world. It is a day to remember and honor your loved ones with cards, flowers, candy, etc. I personally think that we should be celebrating our love every day of the year and not just one single day. I know that I feel very happy when my husband brings me flowers unexpectedly … a guaranteed smile on my face!! But, how did this romantic holiday start?

The legend of the patron saint, St. Valentine, goes back many centuries and the origin of the tale has become something of a mystery. One legend says that Valentine was a priest during the third century in Rome. At the time, Emperor Claudius II decided single men made better soldiers and prohibited them from marriage. Valentine defied the Emperor and continued to perform secret marriages for the soldiers. The Emperor discovered this, Valentine was sent to prison and the Emperor ordered his execution. While Valentine was imprisoned he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer and before he was executed, he sent her a note and signed it “from your Valentine”. There are several other stories about Valentine, but he is always portrayed as a sympathetic, heroic and romantic person.

In the Middle Ages, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a poem, “Parlement of Foules”, which is said to be the first recorded association of Valentine’s Day with romantic love. By the 15th century, Valentine’s Day had become an occasion for lovers to express their love by presenting flowers, offering confectionery delights and sending handwritten sentimental notes, known as valentines, to their loved ones. By the 19th century, paper valentines became so popular in Victorian England that factories started mass producing greeting cards with popular symbols of love such as: the heart, doves or lovebirds and Cupid with his bow or arrows.

In the United States, it is estimated that 190 million valentines are sent each year making Valentine’s Day the second largest card holiday. According to those statistics, women purchase and send 85 percent of those valentines. Those numbers do not include the mass-produced character themed valentines that students give to each other and their teachers. The idea of exchanging cards has extended into gifts such as: roses, heart-shaped boxes filled with an assortment of chocolates and in the 1980’s the diamond industry began to promote giving jewelry to that special someone! Now, with the Internet, it is estimated in 2010 that over 17 million e-valentines were sent.

l remember as a child, sending and receiving valentines in grammar school! Luckily, my mother saved us boxes filled with our school papers, art projects and within those boxes were the valentines cards from my fellow classmates. It is fun to see the old fashioned style of these 1960s valentines and remembering all those friends from so long ago. I kept up that family tradition of saving the valentines for my kids. For my daughter I found a cute Valentine-themed box and this is where she has saved her valentines from school. Every year she likes to sort through them and remember her old friends back in California and her new friends here.

Do you do any special ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day? I would love to hear from you, send me a comment with your traditions or ideas.

Decor – Valentine’s Day Decorations

Valentine door wreathValentine’s Day … a time to celebrate love!!  As many of you know, I love to decorate the house for each holiday celebration, it brings me a lot of pleasure and I know my family appreciates my efforts.  This year I am adding a couple of new Craft projects, Rosebud Hearts and a Heart-shaped Door Wreath.  For Valentine’s Day I don’t have very many decorations like the other holidays so I will keep it simple and easy!

Boyds Bears cabinetTo greet visitors at our front door or guests attending the Queen of Hearts tea luncheon, I am hanging a new Heart-shaped Door Wreath.  In the library, there is the glass-front lawyer bookcase filled with my Boyd’s Bear Collection, and I will add my special Valentine’s Day figurines.  I will repurpose the red sparkle netting that I used on the chair backs for the tea luncheon and arrange it among the Boyd’s Bear figurines on the top two shelves.  On the bottom shelf that holds the Boyd’s Bear Village, which is still decorated for winter, I will sprinkle tiny red hearts.  In the dining room, the table is still set with a red tablecloth and the deep pink rose floral arrangement from the family room.  I’ve added red feather sprays and three red sparkle hearts on sticks for the tea luncheon.  In the kitchen, I will hang several red and silver glass ornaments from the light fixture and maybe I will add some red ribbons to make it more festive.  Lastly, I will hang the Rosebud Heart from my daughter’s bedroom door with a special note attached so she finds it in the morning when she wakes up for school.

Please look for the February Celebration post for Last Minute Valentine’s Day Ideas, most of these ideas are projects to do with your child and one is something cute to do for the kids!

Celebration – Queen of Hearts Party

Queen of Hearts Party tableWith Valentine’s Day coming in February, it is never too early to brainstorm a party idea and I have a great theme – Queen of Hearts!  This theme could be used to set the table for a fun family dinner or an elegant tea luncheon or late dinner with close girlfriends.

Valentine’s Day is not always about romance and couples, it can also be a time to show love and support for your family and friends.  With our busy lives and everyone scattered to school, work and athletic activities sometimes we need to stop and spend some quite quality time together.  This would be a great occasion to celebrate with your family and show them how much you love them!  Fix a great dinner or maybe order take-out, it doesn’t matter, just take the time to talk and share together as a family.

Maybe there are other important people in your life that you want to show your love and support.  Another idea to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to invite other mothers in the neighborhood or your child’s school.  What a wonderful afternoon it could be sitting around the table with friends, enjoying a relaxed lunch and sharing the happiness or difficult times of motherhood.  (We’ve got to support each other!)  Or maybe you are single and want to get together with your girlfriends for a celebration.  Schedule a late dinner after work to eat a great meal and sit around a beautifully decorated table talking about love, men and dating … besides who wants to be alone on Valentine’s Day!

Basic supplies

  • Red tablecloth, size is determined by the table dimensions
  • White or ivory napkins for each guest
  • Rose floral centerpiece
  • Red rose buds for each place setting
  • Beautiful plates, glasses, utensils for each place setting
  • Red ribbon and red sparkle netting for chair back decorations
  • The photo shown above shows our dining room table set for a tea luncheon.

Queen of Hearts Party place setting    Queen of Hearts Party floral centerpiece

Start by setting the dining room table with a red tablecloth.  Set each place setting with beautiful plates, cup and saucers, glasses and utensils.  I used a large white dinner plate with a smaller red salad plate on top.  As a cute touch I cut a slice large jelly heart and attached it to the rim of the teacup.  Next, I used white napkins with a red rose bud tucked into silver napkin rings.  To complete each place setting, I used small white frames, tied with red ribbons for place cards.  To add festive look to the chair backs, I used two yards each of 1½ wide ribbon and 6 inch wide red sparkle netting tied into bows.  I also cut a large heart of red sparkle foam for each chair and attached it to the chair back.  Finally, to complete the table I wanted to enhance an existing deep pink rose floral arrangement, so I added red feather sprays and three red glittered hearts on sticks.  I think the table looks very festive and I think it is perfect for a Queen of Hearts tea luncheon for friends!

Queen of Hearts Party chair bow Queen of Hearts Party teacup with candy heart