Pet of the Week

From Staff Re­ports

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL -

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...

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