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On this Valentine’s Day – today, Feb. 14 – it is predicted that $17.6 billion (with a ‘B’) will be spent on valentine related items. According to the National Retail Federation, Christmas is first in holiday spending and Valentine’s Day is second, well ahead of Halloween when about $6.86 billion is spent.
Now, I have some good friends in the flower business and I wish them well. But I honestly don’t see the logic behind spending up to $150 (maybe more) on a bouquet of flowers that will be dead in a week.
On the other hand, all that spending is good for the economy. In Douglas County, the City of Ava, Douglas County and the Ava Area Ambulance District all benefit from local sales taxes. So, go ahead. Spend, spend, spend. Your local government needs all the help they can get.
In researching Valentine’s Day, I also learned that the average man will spend about $126 for valentine gifts, which is double what a woman is expected to spend. I also found that 25 percent of all the cards sent annually are valentines. Did you know 20 percent of the people surveyed will buy valentines for their pet?
So, where did this valentine thing get started, anyway?According to a piece by Borgna Brunner that I found on the Internet, the history of Valentine’s Day is obscure and clouded by various legends. According to Brunner, the holiday’s roots go back to the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertilitiy celebration commemorated annually on Feb. 15. Pope Gelasius I was responsible for changing the date, around 496, to Feb. 14, transforming it from a pagan festival to a Christian feast day, and declaring Feb. 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day.
Which St. Valentine the early pope intended to honor remains a mystery today. Brunner (whoever he or she is) says that, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, there were at least three early Christian saints by that name. One was a priest in Rome, another a bishop in Terni, and a third St. Valentine about which very little is known. It is quite unusual – even a little eerie – that all three Valentines were said to have been martyred on Feb. 14.
History tells us it was not until the 14th century that the Christian feast of Valentine’s Day became associated with love. According to a UCLA medieval scholar, Henry Ansgar Kelly, it was Chaucer who first linked St. Valentine’s Day with romance. In 1831 Chaucer composed a poem in honor of the engagement between England’s Richard II and Anne of Bohemia, connecting the royal engagement, the mating season of birds, and St. Valentine’s Day.
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When the Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks you know it’s going to be profound, and last week he cleared up a really obscure question for all of us. If we had any question why assault weapons should be banned, Bro. Jesse cleared that up. It’s because they can be used to shoot planes out of the sky and blow up trains. Honest. That’s what he said.
Comments like that makes one wonder if those who oppose guns really know what they believe or why.
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Danny Cutbirth WALKED into church last Sunday morning, then STOOD on the stage and sang with the Praise Team at Highway Church of the Nazarene. So, what? you may ask. Danny was seriously injured on the day before Thanksgiving in a logging accident. For a few hours, there was no guarantee he would live, let alone walk again. Doctors said it would be at least a year before he would walk. Granted, he still has a long road of recovery ahead and it will be some time before he can walk on his own. But those who know the situation know that Danny was a walking miracle on Sunday morning.