When Jennifer Lopez sang “My Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” it’s clear she wasn’t thinking back to any of the Valentine’s Day gifts she may have received over the years. In 2014 alone, more than half of Americans (54%) are expected to celebrate the February 14 holiday with their loved ones, spending an average of $133.91 each on candy, cards, gifts, dinner and more according to the National Retail Federation.
If you’re considering making this Valentine’s Day a memorable one, the Waldo General can help. With this year’s holiday falling on a Friday, it might be time for a weekend getaway with your significant other. Or, you can always turn to traditional favorites of jewelry, clothing and gift cards. Regardless, when you consider treating your loved one in addition to acknowledging the day with friends, family members, teachers, colleagues or even furry friends, an easy-to-repay installment loan may be just what you need to survive this storied holiday.
So, where did this longstanding tradition of exchanging gifts, goodies and expressions of affection come from? Turns out Valentine’s Day was a tradition that existed centuries before it became the “Hallmark holiday” many of us refer to it as today.
One tale tells of St. Valentine as a priest who carried out secret marriages of young lovers against an ancient decree requiring soldiers to remain single. Another suggests St. Valentine helped Christians escape from harsh Roman prisons, writing the first official valentine himself from behind bars. Although the celebrated stories of the original Saint Valentine vary, one thing is clear: both Christian and ancient Roman histories portray this figure as a sympathetic, heroic and romantic individual. Eventually, a pagan fertility and purification festival began being celebrated during the ides of February until Pope Gelasius forbid it and declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day.
Written Valentine’s messages appeared on the scene in the fifteenth century, and by the middle of the 18th century, exchanging these notes or other small tokens of affection became popular across all social classes. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland, otherwise known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” began creating elaborate Valentines using ribbon, lace, embossed flowers and colorful pictures. Today, the Greeting Card Association estimates 145 million cards will be exchanged, not including the pre-packaged Valentines traded by school-age children.
Celebrate the day in the way that works best for your and your special Valentine!!