Pet of the Week
From Staff Reports
Valentine’s Day is for everyone – not just youthful sweethearts.
It often combines history with modern views about family and tradition. However, the fact remains that Feb. 14, 2016 will once again bring hundreds of people to retail stores in Polk County to make a purchase of cards, flowers, candy or other sentimental gift.
In the United States, about 190 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, not including the hundreds of millions of cards school children exchange. National statistics reveal that individuals average from $108 to $131 valentine spending.
Surveys reveal the difference in Valentine’s Day items purchased by each gender may be attributed to the gift recipients on their lists. While both male and female Valentine’s Day shoppers plan to spend money on significant others, women are more likely to make Valentine’s Day purchases for family, friends and pets.
Among female respondents who plan to spend money on Valentine’s Day, 73 percent plan to spend money on a significant other, according to reports. Fifty-two percent plan to spend money on family, and 13 percent plan to spend money on friends. Six percent plan to spend money on pets.
Of the male respondents who plan to spend money on Valentine’s Day, 95 percent plan to spend money on their significant other. Eighteen percent plan to spend money on family. Five percent plan to spend money on friends, and two percent plan to spend money on pets.
Industry experts note that if every family in the country spent $100 of their Valentine’s Day shopping budget at locally owned, independent businesses more than $7.8 billion would be directly returned to local communities. Economists reveal that by shifting just a portion of your spending, you can help create more jobs and a stronger economy in your community.
For those not interested in the economic impact, history reveals that Valentine’s Day was once known as Feast of Saint Valentine. Although it is celebrated in many coun- tries around the world, it is not a public holiday in most of them.
St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies.
A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.
Valentine’s Day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”).
In Europe, Saint Valentine’s Keys were given to lovers “as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart”.
Valentine’s Day symbols used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.
This large adult male Maine Coon mix - ID # 30701746 - is the Standard Journal Pet of the Week. Volunteers report the soft, long haired and green eyed cat is friendly and affectionate, and would make a wonderful companion for someone who is looking to...