Winter Blog Posts

Valentine Tradition–Along the Way to St. Valentine’s Day 14: Gifts of Love

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

Giving gifts to the one you love is a tradition on St. Valentine’s Day.  The beauty of St. Valentine’s Day is that a simple homemade card will do the job just as well as a fancy gift.  The tradition of giving cards began as early the 15th century.  Flowers became a  gift tradition as early as the 17th century.  Chocolate was put into heart-shaped boxes and became a favorite gift in the early 19th century.  In the Victorian era, gloves were the gift of choice.

Whether you are in love or are still looking for that certain someone, the truth of St. Valentine’s Day is that anyone can be your Valentine.  Love is a universal language that can be expressed to all.  So if you’re still looking for your Valentine just write a simple note and give it to someone with the words:  “Won’t you be my Valentine?”  If you don’t have a note, just ask!  This simple gift will surely bring to both of you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Won’t you be my Valentine?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 14:
Gifts of Love

“Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

Valentine Traditions–Along the Way to St. Valentines’ Day 13: Pink

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

The color pink is created by mixing red and white together.  Pinks can range from the palest pink to the deepest magenta.  Pink is considered to represent innocence, sweetness, affection, understanding, and friendship.

Fun fact:  In the early 1900s, clothing retailers advocated dressing boys in pink and girls in blue because pink was considered the stronger color and blue the more delicate one.

Depending on the color, a pink rose takes on different meanings:

  • Light pink denotes gentleness and admiration;
  • Medium pink for a first love, congratulations, or to cheer up a friend; and
  • Dark pink denotes appreciation, gratitude, and “thank-you”.

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 13:
Pink

 

“Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

 

 

 

 

 

Source of rose color meanings:  http://bit.do/pinkrosemeaning

Valentine Traditions–Along the Way to St. Valentine’s Day 12: White

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

White is another color traditionally associated with St. Valentine’s Day.  White is the absence of all color and in that is considered to be pure.  In its purity white has become the favorite for bridal attire and lace.  White is also a symbol of faith and on St. Valentine’s Day denotes the faith between two in love.

A white rose signifies innocence and purity as well as new beginnings.  They are also used as a gesture of remembrance and say, “I’m thinking of you.”

 

 

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 12:
White

 

“Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

Valentine Traditions–Along the Way to St. Valentine’s Day 11: Red

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

Red is a familiar color for St. Valentine’s Day and it is full of symbolism in itself.  Red is the color of blood which is considered to be life in itself.  Red is considered the color of passion and in this the color of love.  In turn giving something red on St. Valentine’s Day is considered to be romantic.

A red rose represents love, courage, beauty, respect, romantic love, sincere love, and in particular passionate love. They can say: “I love you” or “Job well done”. Different shades of red signify different love messages:

  • A typical red rose represents passionate love;
  • A bright red rose signifies romance; and
  • A deep burgundy rose signifies love yet to be realized.

 

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 11:
Red

 

“Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

red rose info source:  http://www.rkdn.org/roses/colors.asp and http://bit.do/redrosemeaning

Valentine Traditions–Along the Way to St. Valentine’s Day 10: Chocolate

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

The giving of chocolate for Valentine’s Day gained popularity during the Victorian era when Richard Cadbury saw the days as a good marketing opportunity.  He created the heart-shaped box in 1861 and marketed it has having a dual purpose:  One for giving a beautiful gift and the other for storing keepsakes in a beautiful box.  Decorative boxes grew more elaborate until the outbreak of World War II when sugar was rationed and the celebration of Valentine’s Day was scaled down.

Hershey’s chocolate kiss was created in 1907.  Russell Stover began as early as 1923 wrapping chocolates and eventually putting them in heart-shaped boxes and which remain one of the best selling Valentine’s chocolates today.

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 10:
Chocolate

 

“Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

Valentine Traditions–Along the Way to St. Valentine’s Day 9: Conversation Hearts

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

The first conversation candy was created in 1866 when Daniel Chase, brother of the creator of NECCO candies, discovered a way to print messages on candy using vegetable dye. They were an instant hit. The conversation heart shape emerged in 1902 and has been a Valentine tradition for 115 years! While the original size of the candies has diminished, more phrases were added throughout the years.

Keeping up with the times one of the latest sayings is “text me”. However modern the sayings introduced each year, every Valentine still loves to find the one that says, “true love”, “be mine” or better still “kiss me”.

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 9:
Conversation Hearts

 

“Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

Valentine Traditions–Along the Way to St. Valentine’s Day 8: Hands

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

Paper hands were a popular 19th century love St. Valentine’s Day symbol that were often given as a love token. Considered a symbol of courtship as a man would propose by asking a lady for her hand, the lady’s hand appeared on both handmade and printed Valentines. A lady’s hand also symbolized femininity and as such was often decorated with a frilly cuff and a ring on the third finger.

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 8:
Hands

 

Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

Valentine Traditions–Along the Way to St. Valentine’s Day 7: Birds

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

Birds have long been associated with Valentine’s Day as it was believed that birds found their mates in February.  It was Chaucer who in 1831 wrote a poem linking the mating season of birds with Valentine’s Day in the words:

“For this was on St. Valentine’s Day

When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate.”

Doves mate for life and are known for their gentleness and shared cared for their young have long been linked to romantic love.  Known as messengers they are the perfect bird to carry the same to one’s Valentine.

 

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 7:
Birds

 

Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

Valentine Traditions–Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 6: Lace

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

St. Valentine’s cards were originally made by hand with real lace and ribbons.  Rather than being utilitarian, lace has always been something added for adornment and as such has an association with romance.  In 1834 Joseph Addenbrooke of England accidentally discovered a way to make paper lace.  This ushered in the Golden Age of Valentines in the 1840s to 1860s where paper lace decorated cards were all the vogue.

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 6:
Lace

 

Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

inset picture from:   http://www.ephemerasociety.org/

Valentine Traditions–Along the Way to St. Valentine’s Day 5: Cards

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

Sending a note professing one’s love in hopes of the same in return is one of the oldest traditions of St. Valentine’s Day. The first ever St. Valentine’s letter is said to have been sent from the Duke of Orleans to his wife during his imprisonment in the Tower of London circa 1416. The oldest surviving Valentine was written by Margery Brews of Norfolk to her fiancé John Paxston circa 1477.

Writing poems professing one’s love continued as an English custom. It is said that King Henry VIII established February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day by royal decree in 1537. In 1830s England, as improvements in postal services and printing methods grew, so did the popularity of sending and receiving Valentine’s cards. So unprecedented were the number of cards the postmen had to deliver that they needed refreshments to enable them to complete their delivery.

In America the sending of Valentines didn’t truly become a tradition until the Civil War circa 1861-1866. Cards often depicted sweethearts parting as well as pictures of soldiers covered by flaps that opened to reveal the person of affection. By the 17th century it was commonplace for friends and lovers from all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection like hand-made cards, chocolates and small gifts on St. Valentine’s Day.

 

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 5:
Cards and Notes

 

Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

Original picture from:  http://hubpages.com/holidays/valentines-images#slide9836064