Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

There are a lot of kids in East Tennessee who are missing out on what used to be one of the highlights of the school year for elementary-age children. That's because so many schools are closed due to illness right now. What are they missing? Exchanging Valentines.

Do you remember exchanging Valentines in your younger days? We used to decorate shoeboxes with slots cut in the top so that our friends could insert their Valentine greetings to us. We'd buy the el-cheapo Valentines at the dollar store and carefully pick which card went to which person (especially for the folks in class who were your best friends). There'd usually be a party in the afternoon in your homeroom where you exchanged those cards. Someone's mom would usually make cupcakes, and there would be chocolate. Of course, what Valentine's day was complete without a few conversation hearts put in with the little envelopes with the cards you exchanged or in their own little plastic bags down in those nicely decorated shoe boxes. Someone would always win the prize for the best decorated box.

Last night, our worship pastor was sharing with those of us in the choir that there were three different St. Valentines. All three were martyrs. One theory is that he was a Roman martyred for his Christian faith. Another story had to do with the Roman emperor's decision to not allow young men to marry because he wanted them in his military. This particular St. Valentine is supposed to have performed marriages for young couples in spite of the decree. Another story had to do with St. Valentine being imprisoned and falling in love with the jailer's daughter. He was said to have written a note to her that was signed "From Your Valentine." You'll find a run-down of all of these accounts at Catholic Online.

I'll be celebrating Valentine's Day at the Lady Vols game tonight!

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