Of Saints and Snacks

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Thank goodness another Valentine’s  Day is over.

I’ve never been a fan.

It arrives just six weeks after my 4,762,323rd New Year’s Resolution to lose weight…and then BAM! Chocolate hearts and other sweet delights are everywhere the week after Christmas…it’s a major conspiracy against…well, against all of us who make that same resolution every year.

Who can resist buying those Hershey kisses all decked out in shiny shades of pink and red with little hearts all over them? Perfect size for the purse to munch on when you need a chocolate fix, right? Especially when they are on sale for oh, say three bags for $6.00?  It’s the beginning of the end for me, I tell you…the end of keeping that resolution this year.

I did some research about Valentine’s Day. Some of you may know this, but for the benefit of the one or two other people who actually read this blog and maybe don’t know, I’ll share some info about it with you.

This from the History Channel: (http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day)

The Legend of St. Valentine

“The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? 

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. 

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.”

Okay, so I ask you this: why is a day supposedly about love and romance named after someone who, according to all accounts, was killed/martyred/put to death in a horrible manner?

I don’t get it.

You would think that since Valentine’s Day is considered to be the day for being mushy with your significant other  (I wonder how many people get engaged or married on Valentine’s Day?) why name it after someone who was put to death?

Since it’s named after a saint (“Saint Valentine’s Day”) why not have a second Christmas and call it “Saint Nicholas Day II?”

What’s not to love about St. Nick/Santa? it’s only a few weeks after the jolly old guy visits and as far as I know  he’s never been so much as attacked no less martyred.

He wears red; red is the color du jour of Valentine’s Day. He brings gifts, even puts candy in stockings. Candy is one of the preferred gifts for St. V’s. People get engaged at Christmas. It’s a happy time. You wouldn’t really even have to change the in-store decorations. Well, maybe lose a little of the green and focus more on the red…but that’s easy enough to do. Put out more gift bags with candy canes and hearts…suitable for either holiday, right? Think of the marketing opportunities there would be! “Celebrate Christmas and be ready for St. Nicholas Day II”…however, I don’t know how that would work with the day after Christmas half price sales. There’d have to be a separate aisle with no discounts for the candy cane/heart bags.

…and I spend entirely too  much time thinking about these things…especially since this ain’t never happening.

But I do hope that you all had a special whatever-you-want-to-call-it February 14th.

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