Nothing says I love you like…

This blessed day happens to be February 14, celebrated as Valentine's Day throughout the western world.

This blessed day happens to be February 14, celebrated as Valentine’s Day throughout the western world.

It’s a day where we pledge our undying love to our nearest and dearest, feel brave enough to let someone know how we really feel, and tell our friends we are glad they are in our lives.

Saint Valentine himself was oblivious to the fuss he would cause after his martyrdom. The legend goes that he was a third century Roman saint who performed weddings for soldiers against the Emperor’s orders, was imprisoned for it, then returned sight to his jailer’s blind daughter.

He then made the brave but fateful decision to preach to Emperor Claudius II, who did not take kindly to the conversion attempt. He condemned poor Valentine to death by beating, then beheading.

On the eve of his execution, Valentine wrote a letter to the jailer’s daughter, signed, “From your Valentine.”

Meanwhile, every February the pagan Romans had a charming ceremony known as Lupercalia, which was said to bless women with fertility over the coming year. Pagan priests sacrificed two male goats and a dog, then dressed themselves in the skin. They made whips out of the leftover flesh, then ran around the city flicking women with it to bestow fertility on them. Because nothing says ‘I love you’ like being whipped by a man dressed in a goat carcass.

The pagan tradition was usurped with a day dedicated to Saint Valentine in the 14th century, first mentioned by poet Geoffrey Chaucer in “The Parlement of Foules”. It only took a century for Saint Valentine’s Day to become an occasion for lovers to offer hand-written notes and confectionary to one another.

Since then, you could say we’ve got a little carried away with it. According to the U.S. Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, on average each American spends $116.21 on Valentine’s Day. Collectively, the nation spends $13.19 billion on Valentine’s Day each year, sending180 million cards and giving 196 million roses.

Women buy 85 per cent of cards, while men buy 73 per cent of flowers. Note the difference, because, apparently, 53 per cent of women say they would end their relationship if their significant other did not give them something on February 14. Goodness knows who those women are because most women I know would be single forever under those rules.

Valentine’s Day may be a big day for business, but it’s important that we make it much more than that.

In these days of children being shot in their classroom, and natural disasters wiping out thousands, of divorce rates and homelessness on the rise, we should take any chance we get to put more love out into the world.

This February 14, sure, give your beloved a card, buy a box of chocolates, take them out for dinner.

But also, let’s take the chance to be extra kind to everyone we come into contact with. It doesn’t have to cost money — an act of kindness can take many forms.

Bake a batch of cookies for your neighbour. Write a thank-you note for your garbage collector. Take care of a parking fine for another driver and leave the receipt with an anonymous note.

And if someone does something kind for you, pass it on into the community. Find your own way to show love to your city this month.

The United Way of Cranbrook and Kimberley has agreed to document these random acts of kindness as they pop up around the community. Through the month of February, you can visit the office on Baker Street, by HSBC, to record a kindness you have performed or received on a heart-shaped post-it note, which will be added to a window display. If you can’t get to the office, post your kindness to the United Way Facebook page at

It’s a tradition that Saint Valentine could really get behind.

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read