By: Terry Simpson
Love is in the air in downtown Tompkinsville this week as local store-fronts have decorated in reds and pinks for the upcoming Valentine’s holiday to be celebrated on Thursday, Feb. 14.
Valentine’s Day, also known as St. Valentine’s Day, the day sweethearts express affection with cards and gifts, has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was held in mid-February to celebrate the coming of spring and included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery.
At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day and it came to be celebrated as a day of romance, with formal messages known as valentines appearing in the 1500s, with commercial cards coming out in the 1700s and appearing in the United States in the mid-1800s.
The holiday has grown to include expressions of affection among relatives and friends, with many schoolchildren exchanging valentines during classroom parties at their schools.
This week, as the week before the holiday, probably finds many of those children hard at work on their valentines’ boxes and moms and dads crafting edible treats for those parties.
And while this holiday is celebrated worldwide, it is quite apparent the popularity here in Monroe County.
From those store windows displaying their offerings, or just getting into the spirit with the bright colors, to the balloons, candy, flowers and other gifts which will arrive at the four schools in the Monroe County School District (see the drop off procedures to be listed on the school websites as they become available) next Thursday.
Local businesses around town, where your sweetheart is hard at work, watching for that moment that the delivery truck pulls up, will no doubt be busy as well with deliveries coming in throughout the day.
And if you are not much for the idea of what some call the “commercial holiday,” consider the old adage, “it’s the thought that counts,” and make a handmade gift, write out a thoughtful paragraph on social media or even take your sweetie to the greeting card section of a local store and pick cards for each other, read them aloud and replace them on the shelf.
You could also drop off a gift at the school for the children who may not receive one, visit the nursing home or deliver chocolates to the police department, Sheriff’s office or fire departments.
You may even choose to ignore the day all together or even celebrate on the following day with clearance items marked half price for the love of your bank account.
No matter how you choose to celebrate this day, remember, a little bit of love and kindness goes a long way, any day of the year.