At one point in time, St. Valentine’s Day signified something more than roses, chocolate, cherubs and everything dripping with cheese.
Eons ago, there was indeed a Saint Valentine. He became the patron saint of love, marriages, engagements, young people, greetings, travelers, bee keepers, people with epilepsy (yep, that one surprised me big time, having Epilepsy and all) and numerous churches. Believers say God worked through his life to perform miracles and teach people how to recognize and experience true love.
This famous saint, an Italian doctor who later became a priest, inspired the creation of the holiday of Valentine's Day. He was sent to jail for performing weddings for couples during a time when new marriages were outlawed in the ancient Rome. Before he was killed for refusing to renounce his faith, he sent a loving note to a child he had been helping to teach, the daughter of his jailer, and that note eventually led to the tradition of sending Valentine's cards.
While his birth year is unknown, he died 270 AD in Italy. The original purpose of St. Valentine’s Day to remember him with honor in a celebratory feast.
This particular post isn’t about the history of St. Valentine, though. If you’re intrigued, please keep reading. If not, consider scrolling down a bit further for a yummy cookie recipe. :-)
Holiday celebrations tend to get mixed up between their original purpose and what social norms have evolved into. I miss the old days when things weren’t complicated. Yes, again, old elementary school memories with all the other boys and girls. We’d give each other handmade cards and those terrible chalk-like hearts (though they did have cute messages). The teacher would make cupcakes or cookies that always wound up ground into the carpet, ceiling, desks, chairs and bodies. The boy I liked even left Garfield and Odie stuffed animals in my backpack. I still have a backpack (if you count a laptop bag and backpack purse), but I don’t have a boyfriend to surprise me with something. Don’t feel sorry for me. It’s just a fact.
Things are different now. I’m 46, not 8. Though my parents—the very same individuals who make sure there’s a gift from Santa under the tree every year—keep things special for me on Valentine’s Day, too. This year was classic. They gave me a miniature heart-shaped waffle maker. That has to be one of the coolest things evaaaar. :-)
That said, St. Valentine’s Day is much different for grown-ups and each and every one of us have different feelings and perspectives on this day.
For example, those in perfect relationships, i.e., "cutest couple rah rah," glow with love and warmth. It’s 100% classic romantical time involving the very best sweetness of everything. No matter what's happening (good or bad), it’s set aside for another day to focus on the love they share. I'm not being sarcastic. This type of relationship exists and should be cherished.
For others, today is one of the worst days ever. There are countless men, women and children grieving the loss, impending loss and/or disconnection from one or more of their loved ones. These individuals need to be held close. Listen intently to their feelings…don’t try to fix who or where they are. Just be there and remind them that they are unconditionally loved.
Single people, perspective 1. Tricky. Perhaps approach with this creature with caution. Sometimes feelings about this day is masked with “whatever, I don’t care.” Perhaps that is truly the case. However, there is a fine line between true depression and apathy. If you have a single friend like this, don’t bug him/her if they want to be alone. Reach out and if they do want to talk or text, let the conversation flow naturally. Listen and care. Don’t judge or push. If they seem open to it, perhaps ask if they’d like to hang out or do something else that they enjoy. Together.
Single people, perspective 2. (I fall under this category) Hmm… Netflix and Chill while binge watching horror flicks and mint chocolate ice cream sounds perfect. This type is pretty well adjusted, or seemingly so. This type might not be 100% happy being single. So if you know a single person, PLEASE DO NOT EVAAAR tell him/her that there’s a perfect person out there for him/her. It’s not a new nugget of shiny happy details that we single people need to hear over and over again. Oh, and that "but you're too pretty to be single." *eyeroll* If your single friend is as lucky as me in the relationship department, that perfect match is taken or otherwise unavailable. Love them just as they are.
Now, onto a yummy suggestion for EVERYONE! :-)
I’ve tweaked the snickerdoodle cookie recipe…made it a bit sweeter for all to enjoy. Have fun with it! Enjoy them yourself and/or make someone’s day with a batch.
As always, giving cred where cred is due, David Beverage posted the original Grandma Ruth’s Snickerdoodle Recipe on Tfrecipes.com. The original recipe can also be found in one of my earlier blog posts, should you be interested in that.
GRANDMA RUTH’S SNICKERDOODLE COOKIES...with Jen's twist on things
Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 36 (my results yielded more…happy, happy)
Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers. Sending hugs and sunshine (or, in this case, moonlight…) your way!