Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Belated Valentine's Day and Family... So Love, really

First off congrats to me this blog has reached 1200 views!

So I know, sure a little late. But let’s talk about Valentine’s Day for the first half of this week’s blog (Have to get it in now, school starts tomorrow).

Valentine’s Day is February 14th. Everyone knows that, some people dread it, some people enjoy it. People get engaged on V-day, some get married. There are all kinds of traditions, which I will get into in a bit.

This was a pretty good V-day for me, actually. My boyfriend (You know the Librarian) got me red roses and lilies as well as the first season of Doctor Who (squeee!) and he took me out to dinner also. So for me this was a kick ass celebration a tons better than V-days in the past. Though I have gotten a series of nice and humorous gifts from the boys I have dated throughout the years.

I find myself torn on Valentine’s Day between irritation, because it seems to be such a forced holiday, and longing because it’s a holiday all about romance and I always find myself wishing for more.

The history of Valentine’s Day is actually quite interesting. There are many myths and legends surrounding the Saint this day is named after; Saint Valentine, or Valentinus. One myth is that he married young men who had been forbidden to marry since Emperor Claudius II had outlawed it, thinking that young single men made better soldiers then married ones. That particular Saint Valentine was put to death.

Another legend is that he married Christians and helped them escape Roman persecution.

However there are some pagan origins to also look at. Many believe that the Church placed St. Valentine’s Day in February to cover up the fact that a popular pagan holiday was usually celebrated at the same time. There was an ancient festival called Lupercalia, a fertility holiday to celebrate the Roman god Faunus, god of agriculture.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated all over the world. Here are some examples of how it differs from what we do in America:

Denmark- they swap what is called “lover’s cards” and candy snow drops

In Italy- couples traditionally announce their engagement on Valentine’s Day and sometimes have what is called a Spring Festival

Scotland- is celebrated by having a festival. At the festival there is an equal amount of young unmarried men and young unmarried ladies who get together, each of them writes on a piece of paper their name or a made up name, this is then rolled up. The names are placed in two hats and each person draws a piece of paper out of the hat. This having been done the company has been split up into so many couples, gifts are given to the young ladies and the young ladies would wear the name of their valentine over their heart or on their sleeve. Not everyone still does this.

My research found that basically it’s the same everywhere, however. People send flowers; give cards, poems, chocolates and gifts to express their love for each other. It’s a nice holiday when you really think about it, but I also see the stress it causes in those who do not have a special someone to share it with.

Love is all around, and it is infinite, you can always make more. This past weekend I was able to see a great example of love.

After dating for almost two years, I was invited to my boyfriend’s family home. A small little town that I loved from the moment we drove in. I come from a small town, surrounded by small towns so I was at once comfortable. I entered a home that felt like my own mother’s; warm and inviting. A mixture of the old and new covered in pictures of children in various stages of growth and heart felt well wishes.

I was happily surprised to have his family welcome me with open arms. They are very Mormon and I am not, so I was pretty nervous about how well I would be accepted. I brought cookies, bought myself a new outfit and had Boo tell me about a million stories just to make me feel better before hand. I didn’t need to; his mom and dad were very welcoming as were his brothers, sister, sisters in law and brother in law. I met his grandma, Aunts, cousins and about as much extended family as lived around them that was available.

It made me miss my own mother, watching his sister and mom interact and tease each other.

His family was loud and there was laughter, cooking and happiness for the whole weekend and I felt lucky to be a part of it. I was automatically lumped into their family as Boo’s mother said things like, “Renee is part of the clan now.” I don’t think I was bored once there were so many children and people constantly around. At the end his mom even told me I had to come again and this time bring my own children.

I love my mom and dad and my family is just like my boyfriend’s, except smaller. We are just as loud and funny and my mom’s house always smells good and allows me to breathe easier. However after having found out over facebook my sister is getting married, I was feeling a little depressed that my siblings and I are not close. So it did hurt a little to see how much my boy’s siblings love each other and enjoy each other’s company.

For me, being invited to my boyfriend’s nephew’s blessing was a huge step and had powerful meaning for me. It’s not my religion but I liked all the good feelings that their church was casting over this tiny new life and new member of their family. I can’t say I wasn’t bored after the blessing was over, cause I was, but it was a nice bored. Plus I got to sit next to Boo, hold his hand and people watch, two things I enjoy doing.

I was sad when we had to leave since most of his family wasn’t leaving until the next day, but alas I had to work. I can only hope one day when my children are grown up and they come home to visit that I can shower them with the same loving environment my own mother has given me, all my life and what I saw this last weekend.

Bright Blessings


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