Valentine’s Day. The first observed holiday to follow the biggest, most important Christian holiday of the year. Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the similarities shared by both?

The color red–Santa’s suit and valentines; poinsettias and roses

Both have roots in Christianity, but those roots seem to take a back seat to the celebratory spirit of the date.

Both are named after a saint, albeit St. Valentine’s Day was named after a martyr saint.

Christmas and Valentine’s Day were initially celebrated in the name of someone who was executed.

Winged figures flying around in the air. Angels strum harps, Cupid shoots arrows through hearts.

Candy is strongly associated with both. So is a special meal.

Gifts, or at the very least, cards,  are expected from loved ones.

Mass consumerism has taken over the original meaning of both days.

valentine card

I remember in elementary school, we were expected to make a Valentine’s box to display on Valentine’s day. I would wrap a shoe box, one that had been saved just for this occasion, in red paper. Then I would painstakingly glue little candy hearts and cut-outs on it. As a perfectionist, my box had to be unequaled. I spent hours putting the finishing touches on what was to be the the bomb of all v-day boxes. A rectangular slot was cut along the top so that anybody that wanted to could put a little card inside. valentine shoe boxMom once suggested that I simply cover a Kleenex box with tissue paper. “The opening is already there. It’s so much simpler.” Hell would freeze over before I would stoop so low as to to allow future husbands to put their declarations of love in a freaking snot-rag container!

The best cards were the ones that had a heart-shaped sucker attached.  Even better if your 4th grade crush signed it “love”. I would wait until I got home to lift the lid off my box and read the cards, in the privacy of my bedroom. Even though each kid got a valentine from every other kid in the class, just seeing the name of the one you secretly admired was the making of grade-school fantasies.

By middle school, Valentine’s Day became a popularity contest, with girls congregating in the bathroom or at lunchtime to compare who-got-what-from-whom. Being popular with the boys, I often had several heart-shaped boxes of Brachs chocolates bestowed upon me. I once received an anonymous box of chocolate-covered cherries. I still don’t know who gave them to me, but honestly, I think I’m one of the  few people on earth who actually loves them! (Ditto fruitcake at Christmastime.)

Now that HK and I have been married for 21 years (!), I don’t expect anything. Not flowers, not special chocolate, not dinner in a fancy restaurant. I would much rather have a nice bottle of wine in front of a cozy fireplace, snuggled with HK and our 3 pups. I know that the “reason for the season” is love, and seriously, isn’t that what it’s all about?.

all you need is love

Kismet

Roxanne

 

From my family to yours, have a Doggone Wonderful Christmas and a Pupalicious New Year!

A Dog Named Chrstmas

 

Wow! it’s December, Thanksgiving is behind us, shoppers are out full-throttle, trees are getting decorated, the classic Christmas shows are on TV and all is good.  Well, not ALL is good. 

Did you know that each year somewhere between 6-8 million animals enter shelters?  Half of those are euthanised. That is 3-4 million pets that will  unnecessarily be put to death because they have been thrown away, surrendered, lost, or, due to lax spay/neuter laws, multiplied to exhorbatant numbers.  This is unacceptable in my book! 

Friends and regular readers of this blog know that I am an advocate for homeless animals. This week I watched a Hallmark Hall of Fame book-turned-TV movie  “A Dog Named Christmas“. You may have seen it advertized. A sweet tale of a family with a mentally challenged  son who hears about an “Adopt a Dog for Christmas” program at the local animal shelter. He adopts an older lab, and brings media attention to all of the area’s shelter dogs in need of a temporary foster home just for Christmas, while the staff is away and the dogs will be left alone or minimally cared for. The deal is that they can bring it back on Dec. 26.  

The Shelter Pet project

 

At the end of the movie, the author of the book, Greg Kincaid, makes a public appeal on behalf of animal shelters across the country.  Foster a homeless pet for Christmas.  And guess what?? Over 2000 animal shelters and rescue groups have agreed to participate.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE  this idea! Why not share a few days with an amimal in need who may never have known the joy of having it’s own person that loves him, feeds him and keeps him warm? Even if you don’t keep the pet, (and bets are you will), you have shown him a little ray of light and goodness. 

HK, Kismet, Roxie and I will be driving 10 hours each way to celebrate the holidays with my parents (and their rescued dog, Tessa). It won’t be possible for us to foster a christmas dog this year. But I will do my part  in other ways; dog food drives, donations and standing tall and proud on my soapbox to encourage others to do what they can to spread some joy to a deserving, innocent, homeless pet.

I confess. I did the unthinkable today. I went to the MALL, against all my better judgement. I immediately regretted it, and am spanking myself. (ouch)  Here are some observations that I took away from the experience:

  • 9 out of 10 people parked in handicapped spaces are just lazy.
  • A Bluetooth is not a fashion accessory.
  • Neither is a gold tooth.
  • Unless you live in Atlantic City, a nylon sweatsuit is NOT acceptable attire.
  • Those leggings don’t work with your fur-lined parka.
  • I really don’t give a shit what Patrick said to you, or what you said back. Neither does anybody else in the checkout line.
  • Didn’t I see you an hour ago having the same conversation on your cell?
  • XXL is NOT the new size medium.
  • I’m just spending $6.00, so, no, I don’t want to open a charge account and save 10%. Thank you, tho.
  • When there are more than 3 of you in a row, could you please let me pass?
  • PLEASE don’t text and walk.
  • PLEASE PLEASE hang up before you start backing out of the parking lot!
  • OH NO YOU DID-INT!!!  Please get a giftcard for an easy return of  that santa sweater!
  • No, I already have 17 different flavors of perfume on me–all unsolicited–so I DON”T want to try Brittany’s new  scent “skank”.
  • Girl, you coulda got that WAAAYYY cheaper at TJMaxx!!

I’d love to hear your observations from holiday shopping trips. I’m sure that no matter where you live, you’ll have some entertaining thoughts to share!

HELL at the mall

HELL at the mall