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Love is Everything!

More and more I find myself looking forward to Valentines Day — a day devoted to being in love and loving others — from candied hearts that read "Be Mine" and "True Love" to heart-shaped boxes of chocolate delights — one can’t resist the yearly dive into a Whitman’s Sampler — biting each candy shape to find the one with the caramel inside.  Guilty as charged, after all, I been quite in love with chocolate for many, many years.

However, as excited as some of us get over Valentine’s day, there are those who have less than favorable opinions about the holiday, calling it a "fake, made-up, commercially-driven holiday" created to squeeze yet another pretty penny from us hard working, Hallmark-loving Americans.  My question to these cynics is…so what?  What’s wrong with celebrating a holiday that makes you take time out of our busy lives to say, "Hey, I love ya."  So what if it’s commercially-driven? — saying I love you and doing something special for the one you love is never a bad thing.  Personally, I like the idea of a day totally devoted to showing the important people in my life that I love them. 

Valentine’s Day celebrates the only thing that truly matters in this world and even though we can lose our focus from it from time to time, it’s nice to have a day to honor love.   Surprisingly, there is a true and meaningful story behind Valentine’s Day, and although there are many interpretations of the story, its message is timeless — that there is nothing more important than l-o-v-e. 

The Story of Saint Valentine
In the third century, around 269 A.D., the Roman Empire was ruled by Emperor Claudius II Gothicus. He was a horrible man who some nicknamed Claudius the Cruel because of his brutality towards his own people and his obsession with getting into wars.  He had such an affinity for war that he began to have difficulty recruiting soldiers to fight for him. When the Roman Empire needed soldiers to protect their territories, Emperor Claudius II decided that single men would be more likely to fight for him because they wouldn’t be leaving behind any wives and children.  He decided to cancel all marriages and engagements by decree of law. 
A Christian Bishop named Valentine, seeing the distress of young lovers, defied Claudius and met with the young couples to secretly marry them. The Emperor found out about what Valentine was doing and had him thrown in to prison and sentenced to death.
While in prison, Valentine met and fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, a beautiful, young blind woman who visited him during his imprisonment.  The night before his execution, with nothing to write with, it is said that Valentine wrote her a sonnet in ink that he squeezed from violets.  Legend has it that his words made the blind woman see again. The sonnet was signed "from your Valentine."  The next day, Valentine was executed — it was February 14, 270 AD.
Even centuries after his death, Valentine’s commitment and belief in love was legendary in Rome. Eventually, the Catholic Church granted him Sainthood and created a feast in his honor. The feast took place on the anniversary of his death, February 14th.  Ancient belief also says that birds (particularly lovebirds, but also owls and doves) begin to mate on February 14th.
Whatever you do on this February 14th, while you’re standing in the card store looking through row after row to find the perfect card under $4.00, or the boxes of heart-shaped chocolates for $14.00, or the pricey lingerie that you can’t really afford – cha-ching…try not to focus on the commerciality of Valentine’s Day, because in the end, it’s just nice to have a day that celebrates something wonderful for a change.  Let us all try to focus on the true spirit and meaning behind the Valentine’s Day — that above and beyond anything else, love is worth fighting for.
Have a great love-day!
How will you show that special someone that you love them?

  • Spend some quality time together. Have a romantic dinner for two. Even if it’s at 9 pm after the children are asleep.
  • Remember to laugh with the person you love. Be silly as much as possible.
  • The couple that plays together, stays together. Find something you both like to do whether it’s watching a game on T.V. or playing one outside – just do it together.
  • Remember that the little things count. Show your love in different ways.  Write little notes to each other, or just give a compliment. Don’t forget to say sweet things to each other.
  • Say "I love you" as much as you can. You can never say it too much.
  • On an index card, write out four romantic things you want to do with your partner. Have your partner do the same.  Switch off each week by choosing one of each of your cards. So each week you are both doing something for one another.

Valentine’s Day Trivia

  • Over 1 billion Valentine cards are sent in the U.S each year – second only to Christmas.
  • Over 50 million roses are given for Valentine's Day each year.
  • February 14 is the most important holiday for florists, accounting for 32% of annual sales. California produces 60% of American roses, but most roses sold on Valentine's Day in the United States are imported...mostly from South America.  Red is the most popular color, but pink and white are also popular.  Red means warmth and feeling and the color of the heart; pink means innocence and is associated with Saint Valentine, whose burial was said to have caused the pink almond tree to blossom; and white represents purity and faith...a faith between two who love each other.
  • Males are more likely to spend more money on Valentine's Day gifts than females — the average amount spent being $95.00.
  • 3% of pet owners will give a Valentine's Day gift to their pet.
  • Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone on Valentine's Day in 1876.
  • Cupid is associated with Valentine’s Day because he was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid is said to use his magical bow and arrows to inspire feelings of love in unsuspecting people.
  • Back in the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentine would be. They wore these names on their sleeves for one week. Today, the term "wearing your heart on your sleeve" means that it's easy for other people to know how you are feeling.
  • The line from Elvis’s song, "Love Me Tender" was the new sweet saying on candied hearts for Valentine's Day, 1999.
  • The earliest card was sent in 1415 by Charles, duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was a prisoner in the Tower of London. The card is now preserved in the British Museum.
  • The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine's Day.
  • Some other countries that celebrate Valentine’s Day are: The United States
    Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, France, and Australia.
  • Wearing a wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand dates back to the ancient Egyptians. They believed that the vein of love ran from this finger directly to the heart.

How do you say "I love you?"
English…….. ……       I love you
Dutch ………. …..      Ik hou van jou
French ……… …..      Je t'aime, Je t'adore
Gaelic ………. ….       Ta gra agam ort
German ……… …      Ich liebe dich
Greek …                      S'agapo
Hawaiian …….….       Aloha wau ia oi
Hebrew………….       Ani ohev otah (otha for female)
Italian ……… …..       Ti amo
Japanese …….…...     Aishiteru
Arabic…………          Ana behibak (behibek tor female)
Korean ………........    Sarang Heyo
Latin ………….. ..       Te amo
Portuguese …….. .      Eu te amo
Spanish ………….      Te quiero / Te amo
Yiddish ………….       Ikh hob dikh
Mandarin Chinese….    Wo ai ni

Top 20 Romantic Movies

  1. Casablanca
  2. Gone with the wind
  3. An Affair to Remember
  4. Doctor Zhivago
  5. Romeo & Juliet
  6. Somewhere in Time
  7. An Officer and a Gentleman
  8. When Harry met Sally
  9. Titanic
  10. Sleepless in Seattle
  11. The Princess Bride
  12. Pretty Woman
  13. Shrek
  14. The Wedding Singer
  15. Roman Holiday
  16. Strictly Ballroom
  17. Sense & Sensibility
  18. Pride & Prejudice
  19. Bringing Up Baby
  20. Notorious

Famous Quotes About Love

Talk not of wasted affection; affection never was wasted.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Famous Love Quotes

Tell me who you love, and I'll tell you who you are.
Creole proverb: Famous Love Quotes

The best portion of a good man's life: his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.
William Wordsworth: Famous Love Quotes

The best things in life aren't things.
Art Buchwald: Famous Love Quotes

The bravest are the tenderest.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I love you not only for what you are,
but for what I am when I am with you.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Famous Love Poetry

How Do I Love Thee?
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace,
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,-I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!-and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Your words are my food, your breath is my wine
You are everything to me.
- Sarah Bernhardt -
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
admit impediments. Love is not love
which alters when it alteration finds,
or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! It is an ever-fixed mark
that looks on tempests and is never shaken;
it is the star to every wandering bark,
whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
within his bending sickle's compass come:
love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
but bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
- William Shakespeare -
Alas, I thought I knew so much
Of love, and yet I know so little!
For I cannot stop myself loving her
From whom I shall never have joy.
My whole heart, and all of me from myself
She has taken, and her own self,
and all the world,
For when she took herself from me,
she left me nothing
But desire and a yearning heart.
- Bernard de Ventadour -
Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility...It is therefore able to undertake all things, and it completes many things, and warrants them to take effect, where he who does not love would faint and lie down. Love is watchful and sleeping, slumbereth not. Though weary, it is not tired; though pressed, it is not straitened; though alarmed, it is not confounded...
Thomas A. Kempis -

Sonnet 55
Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
but you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even if the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.
- William Shakespeare -

 She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

- Lord Byron 
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying,
And this same flower that smiles today,
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
and while ye may, go marry;
For having lost just once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.
-To the Virgins, Make Much of Time
by Robert  Herrick  
 Take, O take those lips away,
That so sweetly were forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again,
bring again,
Seals of love, but seal'd in vain,
seal'd in vain.
- William Shakespeare -

  By Michael Berkman
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