alentine’s Day! Happy V February 14, 2009 With love from Kevin Valentine’s Day Has a Long History Some say that the first valentine was given about 1,700 years ago! After the Roman emperor Claudius banned weddings, a minister named Valentine continued to perform them in secret. Claudius had Valentine thrown in jail and sentenced him to death. One of the many people who came to visit him in jail was the daughter of a prison guard. On the day of his death, Valentine wrote her a note signed, “Love from your Valentine.” That is thought to be the first valentine! Some of the symbols of Valentine’s Day are even older than Valentine himself. The ancient Romans believed in gods and goddesses. Venus was their goddess of love, and the rose was her favorite flower. Many people still give bouquets of roses as Valentine’s Day gifts today. Venus had a son, Cupid, who could cause people to fall in love by piercing them with his magical arrows. Even today we see images of Cupid on Valentine’s Day cards and decorations. Venus’ favorite bird was the dove. Doves remain with the same mate for their entire lives, and both the male and the female together care for their young. Doves, as symbols of loyalty and love, are also symbols of Valentine’s Day. Do you know people who, when signing a letter, write X’s beside their name to symbolize kisses? This comes from Medieval times when people who did not know how to write had to sign an X instead of their name on a document. To show their sincerity, they would usually kiss the X in front of a witness. X’s represent kisses to many people even today! Did you know . . . ? Half the population of the United States celebrates Valentine’s Day by purchasing at least one greeting card. 73% of flowers bought for Valentine’s Day are purchased by men. 25% of people in the United States do not celebrate Valentine’s Day at all. I Love You, Mom and Dad! I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! I want you to know how much I appreciate everything that you do for me. I hope your Valentine’s Day is terrific! As a Valentine’s Day gift to you (in addition to this newsletter), I will make you breakfast the morning of Valentine’s Day. If you have a food request, please let me know!