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2011-02-14

Valentine's Trivia and Easy Last Minute Fun!

Happy Valentine's Day - WOOT!! Are you bursting with love & happiness today for everyone and everything? Isn't it just wonderful to have a day set aside to honour THAT feeling!

Did you know that Valentine's Day was declared an official holiday in 1537, by King Henry VIII? The things you learn when you check the weather network! Some other Valentine's trivia I've discovered:

  • Why February 14th? - It is believed that it was on February 14, 270 A.D. that the Roman Emperor Claudius beheaded a priest named Valentine for performing marriage ceremonies. Marriages were outlawed in Rome at the time as men began refusing to go to war in order to stay with their wives. Before dying, Valentine wrote a note for his love - the jailer's daughter, and he signed "From Your Valentine".
  • Valentine's Day and its symbolism also has roots in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia on February 15th....Lupercalia was a festival of love & fertility that celebrated Juno, the goddess of women and marriage. Around 496, the Pope renamed the festival Valentine's Day in honour of the beheaded priest and moved its date to from February 15th to 14th.
  • Ancient cultures believed the human soul lived in the heart. Others thought it to be the source of emotion and intelligence. It is associated with V-Day through the Greek belief that anyone shot in the heart by one of Eros' arrows would fall hopelessly in love. (Eros was later named Cupid by the Romans and was the son of Venus, goddess of Love).
  • In the Middle Ages, it was believed that birds chose their mates on Valentine's Day. To mimic this, men and women used to draw names from a bowl to see who their valentine would be, and would wear the person's name on a band on their sleeve for a week - hence the expression "to wear your heart on your sleeve".
  • Some used to believe that if a woman saw a robin-flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it meant she would marry a sailor and if she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a very rich person.
  • In Victorian times it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine's Day card, though this was also the era Valentine's cards grew in popularity (cheaper postage had become available). Maybe this is where"Secret Admirers" started?
  • Want more trivia and quotes? Try braincandy or everythingvalentinesday

And on another note.... let's switch gears here: What are you planning tonight? If you didn't get a chance to make the PB & chocolate cake, you can still have a special dessert - anything red... think of:
  • strawberries dipped in melted chocolate
  • vanilla ice cream topped with raspberry jam (heat it in the microwave for a bit to make it a little runnier)
  • hot chocolate screams V-Day, especially if you put a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream in it and sprinkle with red sugar bits
  • make a box cake in an 8X8 square pan, and cut it into a heart (one corner will be the tip of the heart, round the two sides opposite said point and ice it!). 
Other quick ideas to make it a fun day for you and your kids:
  • Breakfast for supper is always fun and easy to manipulate: heart shaped pancakes; a breaded egg (use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make the hole). Or try anything with ketchup - hot dogs & fries; meatloaf, etc. Or a cream soup - you can trace a heart into it with sour cream or balsamic vinegar....
  • Bring out everything red you have to set the table - tablecloth, place mat, cutlery, dishes, napkins. If you don't have red tableware, use a red sheet or blanket. Put a red doily on the plate as a charger. Tie the cutlery in a red bow. 
  • Cut red hearts out of construction paper and scatter them on the table. Hang them from the light fixture, chandelier or in the kitchen window. Make a heart trail down the hall. Put one on the toilet seat for a laugh. Go crazy, baby!
  • Watch Charlie Brown valentine special when it comes on...or rent it.
  • How about Valentines colouring sheets for some after-homework fun?  Coloringpage.net has online and printable versions.
  • If you have crafty kids or are home with the younger ones: check out Kaboose for Valentine's Craft ideas. 
  • Pair up with your DH and face off with the kids in the online Valentine's Trivia Quiz!
  • Tell your kids your story - after all, they exist "all because two people fell in love" ;-)
Most importantly: you're grateful for those you love and who are dear to you - so let them know!

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