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February 9, 2013

How do I love thee?

Learning today's not-so-traditional Valentie's Day expressions of love

St. Valentine’s Day, commonly known as Valentine’s Day, is observed on Feb. 14 and celebrated in many countries. Though it began as a liturgical celebration, the day became associated with romantic love during the middle ages, when it became traditional to court a potential love interest. Today it is an occasion to express appreciation, friendship, affection and love with greeting cards, chocolates, flowers as well as Cupid-inspired gifts.

Cupid, also popular in the middle ages, is depicted in contemporary times as a chubby boy shooting a bow and arrow to inspire romantic love. Cupid is viewed as an icon of Valentine’s Day and is often depicted with a blindfold, not because he is sightless, but because sometimes love is blind. The etiquette surrounding the day often leaves us, too, groping for the right gift, card or sentiment.

William Shakespeare summed up the confusion in his play “A Midsummer’s Night Dream”

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,

And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.

Nor hath love’s mind of any judgment taste;

Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.

And therefore is love said to be a child

Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.”

Today’s culture requires that one uses discerning judgment and gift-giving etiquette on Valentine’s Day.

School parties and exchanges, workplace celebrations and new romantic partners contemplating Valentine’s Day can inspire fear, hope, excitement or dread. There are many modern day “rules” to be followed to be considered socially acceptable.

Valentine’s Day for

School-aged Children

If your child chooses to participate in a Valentine’s Day exchange, a valentine, be it a card or candy, should be given to every child in the class. If your child cannot bring himself to give everyone a valentine in class, it is acceptable to mail them to the homes of those selected.

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