Valentine's Day may best be known as a day of romance, but it's also the perfect opportunity to spend time with your kids and show them your love. Fun crafts, an exploration into history, or simply enjoying a meal that was created with the input and assistance of your family can be an excellent way to share your heart with your children this Valentine's Day.
History of the Holiday
Even in ancient times February was a month devoted to the celebration of love and romance; however, the legend behind the origins of Valentine's Day remains shrouded in mystery. Who exactly was St. Valentine and what were the exact circumstances of his life that led to this holiday?
According to the Catholic Church, there were three different Saint Valentines; all of them became martyrs. One legend suggests that Valentine was a priest who lived during the third century in Rome under Emperor Claudius II. When the Emperor decreed that the single men in Rome made better soldiers for his army than those who were married, he outlawed marriage. Valentine, realizing the cruelty of this new act, defied the Emperor's wishes and continued to perform marriages in secret. Risking his own life to join young couples in marriage, he gave others the gift of a life together in the name of love.
Another legend states that Valentine was the first person to send a "Valentine" greeting or love letter while in prison. Some believe that he became enamored with his jailor's daughter, who visited his cell. His last love letter concluded with the now popular phrase, "From Your Valentine."
Greetings: From Your Valentine
That little phrase evolved into the ever-popular Valentine greeting. One early example comes from the fifteenth century when Charles, Duke of Orleans, lovingly penned several poems for his wife in France while confined in the Tower of London after the Battle of Agincourt.
Throughout the Renaissance and beyond, the practice became increasingly popular all over Europe—eventually making its way over to the United States.