Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Week 7 Resolution: Get the Taxes Done and other nonsense for a Tuesday morning

I am a procrastinator about some things.  Taxes are one of those things I put off.  With no good reason, we generally get something back.  So why wait?  This week, I am gathering those donation receipts, collecting all of those tax papers that come in the mail out of the big box of mail and I am setting aside time to actually do the taxes this week.  In February.  Before April 15th.  Many folks don't do their own taxes, so this might not be a goal for you.  Or perhaps it is a goal for you because eventually you have to make that appointment with the tax person and take them all the stuff.  So gather your stuff, make your appointment.  Even if you get them done now and owe, you can wait to send it in!

On a completely different note, I am a day late because my mom is in town until Thursday and we are "connecting" through shopping time, playing games with the kids and reading.  Give your mom a call today, Valentine's Day, and tell her how much you love her!  And if you can't, call me... I'll tell you how much I love you!

So, I did a little research to discover the Origins of Valentine's Day.  I remember in my youth, we always called it St. Valentine's Day.  I am sure that the dropping of the saint part is due to separation of church and state.  But just as many slip into the careful "Happy Holidays" sentiment, isn't it truly okay for me, as a Catholic, to say "Happy St. Valentine's Day" in the same manner that I wish others a "Merry Christmas"?

In reality, the Catholics probably founded this "holiday" not only to express love or to celebrate the death/burial of on of the St. Valentines, but to cover a pagan ritual that had to do with fertility.  The pagan festival, Lupercalia, involved sacrificing a goat for fertility and a dog for purification, rubbing the blood on strips of the hide and members of a sect of Roman priests would walk through town slapping women and crops with the hide.  The women recognized this as a good thing.  Later in the day, all of the women would place their names in a large urn.  Eligible bachelors would draw names and they would me paired for the year.  Many of these pairings apparently resulted in marriage.  On the other side of the coin is the saints and their history.  The Catholic Church does recognize three saints named Valentine or Valentinus.  One Valentine was a priest, who reportedly continued to marry young lovers after a decree from Emperor Claudius II made it illegal for young men to marry as single men made better soldiers.  Another report, said Valentine helped Christians escape Roman prisons.  Having been imprisoned, he fell in love with a young woman that came to visit.  Prior to his death, he wrote her a letter signing it "from your Valentine".   Regardless, in 496 AD, Pope Gelasius changed Lupercalia on February 15th, to St. Valentine's Day on February 14th recognizing St Valentine as the patron saint of lovers.  All the other commercialization stuff followed; initially scraps of cloth and lace and paper were used to make notes.


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