Celebrating Love

Ironically, the eldest person in our office is writing about, conceivably, the most romantic day of the year, at least according to Hallmark and retail candy/flower sales. Is Valentines Day really a construct of card companies? What is the history, and why on Earth do we celebrate the idea of love on what sometimes feels like a random day in February? tells us that it’s possible to date the origin of this day all the way back to 6 Century B.C. and a festival called Lupercalia, where dogs and goats became sacrificial devices in fertility blessings. Women bore the brunt of what we’d now see as strange and horrific: they actually lined up to be literally hit with the bloody hides and enter a lottery allowing them to live with a particular man for a year!

As if that isn’t shocking enough, NPR and LifeHacker inform us that Pope Gelasius I desired to stop the pagan rituals. Toward that end, he dubbed the formerly bloody day for two Christian martyrs, Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. The two men coincidentally lost their lives years apart, but on the same date in the 3rd Century A.D. What are the chances?  Perfect apparently!

So, how did we get from the bloody fertility rites to the romantic ideas we entertain today? There are several answers to this question. First, and most simply, some think that the two Valentines were actually one man, who was responsible for performing illegal marriage rites for soldiers.  Others, Reader’s Digest included, point to the Normans and their celebration of Galatin’s Day. Since “galatin” means “lover” or “gallant,” the idea of romance is introduced both from the actions of St. Valentine and the language of the Norse. Geoffrey Chaucer underscored the romantic aspect of the day with his flowery words written to commemorate the engagement of King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia. In any case, people began to pen their own lovelorn notes by 1415. Among those who scribbled notable verses or letters are Duke of Orleans Charles, “A Farewell to Love,” and Shakespeare’s words embedded in “Hamlet.”

The Industrial Revolution brought a new spin on the practice, ushering in machine-made, mass-produced, straight-from-the-factory-to-the-retail-store cards that could be easily mailed. Hallmark Cards got in on the action in 1913, and Valentine’s Day (Keep that apostrophe, please! The day belongs to an actual person.) was reborn as a commercial holiday.

Chances are that if you’ve stuck with me thus far, you’re beyond the days of decorating lunch bags or shoe boxes and being mad that you must give a card to every classmate or none of them. Here’s guessing you might want some ideas for celebrating with your own loved one. Of course, you can always fall back on the standards: heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, store-bought cards, and red roses (Now we know why red ones signify love, don’t we? It harkens back to those pagan practices!). Or, you can stay with me, and I’ll offer you a couple of alternate ideas.

First of all, there is a plethora, well, at least a handful of Dallas excursions that include chocolate. Woohoo! Let’s go! Choose from these tours:

  • My Heart Belongs to Chocolate
  • Chocolate in Your Heart
  • The Vintage Valentine’s
  • Decadent Valentine Dreams Chocolate
  • “My Funny Valentine” Dinner and Comedy Show
  • Winery, Chocolate, Pizza, and Jazz
  • Tacos, Margaritas, and Valentine’s Celebration, or
  • Valentine’s Champagne and Chocolate

Tours not your thing? Got a pocketful of cash? How about a flight over the Dallas skyline at sunset and dusk followed by a fabulous meal for two? Or, consider a hot-air balloon flight at sunrise or sunset that comes complete with champagne and photos for your scrapbook. Flying gives you the jitters? Little to no cash in your tattered jeans? Visit TripSavvy ( or the City of Dallas website ( for more ideas. Prefer Fort Worth to Dallas? Here are two websites for things to do in Cow Town: Brumbaugh’s, an iconic furniture store for over 50 years, has some ideas, ( and so does Eventbrite (–fort-worth/valentines-day-events/. Whatever you do, be glad that bloody rituals have ended and soldiers are no longer confined to the single life. Have fun and enjoy precious time with your loved one.

Written by Kā

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Treat Yo’self: Great Valentine’s Tips for One

“If you’re sad about being alone on Valentine’s Day, just remember that nobody loves you on any other day of the year either,” a snarky Facebook meme reads. After a hearty laugh, I sank down into my onesie pajamas considering my Valentine’s Day plans. I immediately thought of me and other celebrators buying flowers, chocolate, overbearing cologne, and doing all of the other materialistic things we would normally do for our Valentines. Between the beep-beep-beep of the cash register in my head and my desire not to indulge in this year’s cliché festivities, I stumbled upon an idea: treat yourself this treat yoself 1Valentine’s Day. Obviously, it is better to give than to receive, and we can all agree that it’s important to show love to others. However, many of us dedicate the entire day to showing everyone but ourselves such affection. It’s time we claim this day as one to cherish those we love, most importantly ourselves.

Tip One: Go to Work

I’ll admit, this option isn’t the most fun, but consider it: many V-day celebrators do their bests to take off work or get off early for the special day as romantic gestures are often prohibited in professional settings. Therefore, you would have at least a couple of hours to peaceably avoid the holiday. Secondly, your job will keep your mind occupied on your task and help you to momentarily forget about the hoopla as you work. Finally, if you find yourself still sore over the matter, at least you’ve earned some cash to do a little retail therapy.

Tip Two: Pamper Yourself

Nothing says “I love me” like a little self-care. Give your skin a sweet treat with a DIY strawberry sugar scrub. Simply mix 1 cup cane sugar, 1 cup of frozen strawberries, ¾sugar scrub cup of coconut oil, and 1 table spoon of vanilla extract. Whip yourself up some delicious treats like these Valentines Brownie Truffles. You can also buy face masks, chocolate, flowers, and anything else that you feel would make the day awesome for you. The point is to make yourself feel good – mind, body, and soul.

Tip Three: Go Out

Just because you don’t have a special someone, it doesn’t mean you must stay in the house on Valentine’s Day. Take yourself out to a restaurant and choose a small table, or a seat at the bar, if dining alone is intimidating. You can also go to a spa, concert, or even anti-Valentine’s Day events.

Tip Four: Celebrate Love in General

Who says you have to be alone on Valentine’s Day? If we celebrate love in a general sense and not just a romantic one, we can be easily reminded of all the ways we could enjoy this special day. Go out with friends for bowling or a movie. Have a stay-cation with your favorite furry feline or precious pooch. Have a family game night or go out to eat together. Do something you enjoy with and for those you love, especially you. Treat yo’self!

treat yoself 2


Written by Ashley

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Let Love Overflow

Most of my peers are shocked to learn that Valentine’s Day is my FAVORITE HOLIDAY.

Yep, you heard right.

I have never been in a relationship and Valentine’s Day is still my favorite holiday (besides Christmas and Easter, of course, because nothing can compete with the Lord’s birth and resurrection!)

Sadly, very few millennials share my sentiments as Valentine’s Day has quite the negative reputation these days.

Notorious for its overpriced flowers, sugar comas, and mushy couples (barf), Valentine’s Day has evolved into a single person’s worst nightmare. Originally intended as a celebration of genuine love, Valentine’s Day instead prioritizes materialism and seems to promote self-pity and loneliness. Sadly, due to misguided quests for love and identity, the holiday reeks with the sorrow of unmet expectations.

However, it hasn’t always been this way.

Remember Kindergarten? On the morning of St. Valentine’s Day, little boys and girls alike would burst into classrooms, dazzled by explosions of pink and red paper that plastered every wall. Festive bows crowned every braid, and all the little eyes were filled with excitement and hope for the celebration ahead. The classroom floor was soon littered with stickers and colorful clippings as perfect Valentine’s hearts were trimmed and decorated in order to share love with those who mattered the most (mom and dad, of course!).

As morning crafting was pushed aside, a mass distribution of valentines occurred! Students flocked to the festively renovated tissue boxes as myriads of colorful tattoos, funny puns, and yummy treats were dropped into each box. In elementary school, none were excluded from Valentine’s festivities! Even at the young age of six, we were taught to share love on Valentine’s Day by blessing and sharing what we had with those around us.

Grins spread like wildfire as students opened their Valentine’s mailboxes, ecstatically ripping apart the flimsy cardboard to exploit the wealth of goodness inside. Following mass candy consumption, teachers quickly sped through Valentine’s themed lessons before the dreaded sugar crash occurred. Thankfully, several candy conversation hearts were all that was needed to increase midday student morale and motivation.

Many of us would agree that Valentine’s Day was a highlight in elementary school, a celebration we cherished, as evidenced by our ability to fondly recall the experience today.

What has changed? Why doesn’t Valentine’s Day provide this same joy today?

NEWSFLASH: What you celebrate is up to you!

Valentine’s Day is not an exclusive holiday for couples or kindergarteners because love is not exclusive to couples and kindergarteners. That’s what the day is about, remember?

In fact, 1 John 4:7 explains that “love is from God,” and “God is love.” Whether you have a Valentine or not this year, know that you are cherished and completely loved by the only person who truly matters.

In fact, God loved us so much that He “sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:9-10).

Friends, take a moment to reflect on this truth.

When humanity revolted and rejected God, He responded by sending His only Son to suffer on the cross to atone for our sins. God pursued and forgave us, even though we disobeyed Him. Unconditional and all encompassing, this must be true love!

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).

In fact, we should be so full of God’s love that it naturally overflows onto others.

Regardless of whether you are currently single or in a relationship, I challenge you to turn outward this Valentine’s Day and consider how you can extend Christ’s love by blessing and encouraging those around you. Perhaps this means babysitting for that single mom, baking cookies for your professor, sending your mom flowers, or organizing a game night for friends. Instead of embracing a ‘woe is me’ attitude, take the initiative this Valentine’s Day to share truth and encouragement with those around you.

Though you may not be an elementary education major like me who finds immense joy in baking, flowers, and all things chocolate, I encourage you to use your unique gifts to bless others and share truth this Valentine’s Day. Though the day looks different for everyone, keep in mind the reason for the Valentines season and let His love overflow!

kindergarten valentines day

Written by Leah

Image credits: Header image, Kindergarten Valentine’s Day

Silly Love Songs

“Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs. And what’s wrong with that? I’d like to know” (McCartney, verse 1). Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. It represents something beautiful: love. Love seems difficult to define and to obtain. Sometimes it acts like an emotion, while other times it’s a choice or even a fated destiny. Love can even take different forms linguistically, being defined as either a verb or a noun. Personally, I think that love can have different meanings to different people at different times. In fact, one of the attributes of love I am fondest of is this sort of graceful, catch-all nature it seems to have.

Valentine’s Day has come to be known especially for its representation of romantic love. I’ve always thought that a romantic kind of love was magical. Once upon a time, I was a little girl swooning over Disney princesses as they danced with their princes. Now, I’m an adult with a heart that bursts with excitement as I watch the people around me fall in love, get married, have children, and grow in love day by day. I definitely want to get married someday. I think of marriage as a friendship you’ll never lose and a chosen partnership for life. You choose a person and that person chooses you. Comedian Ray Romano described his own marriage this way: “You wake up—she’s there. You come back from work—she’s there. You fall asleep—she’s there. You eat dinner—she’s there. You know? I mean, I know that sounds like a bad thing. But it’s not” (Raymond, episode 9).


Love can also take a much simpler form than a lifelong partnership with a husband or wife. Love can be found in a single act taken by one person on behalf of another. For an example, the week or so surrounding finals last semester was a rough time for me. During my Sunday morning church service that week, I was all but exhausted mentally and physically. An older married couple who are members of my church came to see me after the service to tell me that I’d been on their minds lately and ask if there was any way they could pray with me. Their coming to me and asking to pray communicated so much love to me in that moment; it was exactly what I needed, and it reminded me of God’s everlasting love for me.

Sometimes love is in the thought that one person expends for another. It really can be the thought that counts when it comes to love. In recent years, my siblings and I have begun exchanging little Christmas gifts. It’s my idea because I like buying ridiculous things for my brother and sister. My sister outdid me last year, though, when it came to thoughtfulness. She told me a week before Christmas that she’d picked out my gift and that it was not what I’d asked for. Naturally, I was worried and even a little annoyed. After all, my sister likes to think things through her own convoluted mental processes. She has even told me on several occasions that she cannot predict what I’ll say, do, or want in any given circumstance. On Christmas Day, she presented me with a radio adaptor that would let me play music from my phone through my car’s radio. She remembered that I didn’t have an auxiliary plug in my car and that my grandmother had gotten a Wow Hits 2007 CD stuck in the player years before she gave it to me. She took the time to think about what I really wanted and gave me a stellar gift I still use to this day. When I opened it and realized what she’d done, I felt remembered, considered, and loved.

Love is multi-faceted, easily felt, and always better in excess than in lack. Valentine’s Day gives me an extra reason to celebrate the love of all the wonderful people around me. Love, in all its forms and with all its facets, is a trait to be cherished. It is more than silly love songs; it is the very core of Jesus Himself.

Written by Becca

McCartney, Paul. “Silly Love Songs.” Wings at the Speed of Sound, Capitol, 1976. “The Lone Barone.”

Everybody Loves Raymond, created by Philip Rosenthal, performance by Ray Romano, season 3, episode 9, 1998.

Image credits: Header image, Heart-shaped Hands

Valentine’s Day For the Rest of Us

Valentine’s Day is a day of love. It’s easy to think about a day dedicated to the celebration of love and mostly focus on the love we have for our significant others (or lack thereof). On the other hand, the love we have for every wonderful person we know, not to mention the love we have for God, is not to be ignored. With that said, Valentine’s Day is a great time to refocus attention on relational priorities and show love to the people in our lives.

As Christians, we are called to love God first and foremost (Luke 10:25-28). As each year of our lives stretches on, we experience amazing, spectacular, awesome days that make us want to literally jump for joy; we also experience terrible, horrifically awful days that make us want to crawl into a deep, dark hole and wait for the sun to show itself again. God made us to have emotions, and it’s truly amazing that we get to experience a whole range of them, but the truth is that it’s our responsibility to train our hearts to have the joy and peace of the Lord even in the midst of emotional storms (Proverbs 7:1-3; Nehemiah 8:9; Psalm 28:6-7; Philippians 4:10-13). It’s important that we remember this and continue to worship and show our love for God, especially when our lives get rough. We can do this by setting aside time to pray, worship, or dig deep into His word. He knows His children, so it’s not like He’ll forget we love Him if we go a day without reading the Bible, but this quiet time is important for us to have so that we can remind our hearts of His glorious goodness through the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:3).

The second commandment God gives to His children is to love others (Luke 10:28). We’re meant to love our friends, our enemies, ourselves, and even strangers. That’s a pretty broad group of people, but the ways we can love them are generally the same: we can reach out to them, in big ways or small, and steadily build relationships with them. Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to show our love to the people around us. We can spend the day hanging out with friends (especially if none of us happen to be in romantic relationships), make a nice card as a gesture of peace for someone we’re not on good terms with, or even do some volunteer work to help out some perfect strangers. If we do happen to be spending Valentine’s Day with our darling, we could set aside a few minutes to lift up friends and family in prayer.

Of course, Valentine’s Day is most often associated with the idea of spending quality time with our significant others. On this fourteenth of February if we don’t find ourselves dating or married to anyone, let’s not worry. Any favor we have with anyone comes from God, and He has led the right people to us. If we do have a very special someone, however, that’s great! A little (or even a lot) of romance never hurt anyone. Dedicating a special date to our better halves can be a spectacular way to show them some love. When part of a couple, the important thing to remember about Valentine’s Day is that displays of love are definitely not supposed to be limited to this one day. Though it’s fantastic to use Valentine’s Day to remind our dearests how great we think they are, let’s keep in mind that we can show our love for them all year. Our actions speak louder than our words, so let’s be sure that the love in our hearts rings clearly through everything we do (1 John 3:18).

Valentine’s Day is a super great time to remember the love we have for others and to practice acting it out. Whether we have a Valentine or not, a day especially intended to show all the awesome people around us that we love them is a pretty amazing excuse for a holiday. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Written by: Becca

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