Valentine’s Day began as St. Valentine’s Day, a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. February 14th first became associated with romantic love during the High Middle Ages as the tradition of courtly love was then flourishing. During 18th century England, this day evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending Valentine cards.
Mixed opinions prevail regarding who or what was celebrated in mid-February. Some point to martyred saints by the name of Valentine or Valentinus. The most popular story tells of the saint who defied a decree by Emperor Claudius II who outlawed marriage for young men because he believed single men made better soldiers. St. Valentine, preferring young lovers to be wed than have them sneaking around (or believing in the power of love), would marry them in secret. However, it may have been another Valentine who performed the marriages. Either way, at least two of them were beheaded for their actions.
Another possible origin for Valentine’s Day takes us back to a pagan festival called Lupercalia. As a way to discourage participation in the fertility festival, the Christian church placed St. Valentine’s Day in the middle of February.
Since the Renaissance, we’ve been exchanging Valentine’s cards. These handmade missives of romance grew into a more commercial venture by the Victorian era. Today, school children exchange Valentine greetings, too. They prepare for the day by making unique boxes to receive their many hearts, cupids, and pun-filled rhymes.
Chocolates and candy have also become a part of the celebration. While couples tend to be the focus of the day, singles celebrate being single, too. Friends take each other out or reject the overall notion of Valentine’s Day. Dinner and a movie, candlelight, and flowers also fit the bill for couples. It’s one of the busiest days of the year for florists.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ValentinesDay
You can surprise your special someone with flowers, chocolate or a card. Bring a smile to their face with an original poem or homemade meal.
Get Recipes that will impress without spending days in the kitchen. Many can be done at the last minute if needed.
Get something special for your Valentine and use #ValentinesDay to post on social media.International Book Giving Day
VALENTINE’S DAY HISTORY
Credit is traditionally given to Pope Gelasius for declaring February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day around the year 496 to separate the church from the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, an ancient pagan fertility festival which occurred on February 15th.
National Hug Day or National Hugging Day occurs on January 21st and is officially recognized by the United States Copyright Office, but is not a public holiday.
The purpose of the day is to help everyone show more emotion in public. The only way to celebrate the day is by offering a hug to anyone and everyone you want. While National Hug Day and the Free Hugs Campaign share many similarities, there is not an association between the two.
Whether you hug a family member or a stranger, the mental and physical health benefits are the same. From the day we are born, hugs or touch improve our sleep. Hugging, like cuddling, releases oxytocin. On its own, this hormone provides tremendous health benefits. Not only does it gives us feel-good hormones, but it reduces pain. Receiving a hug helps reduce stress, lowers blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart disease. It also eases anxiety.
In my research to help my husband, I came across the benefits of these marvelous creations. The weighted blanket feels like a hug and quiets things like anxiety, helps reduce the symptoms of restless leg syndrome, and helps you get a deeper, better nights sleep. So I got him one for Christmas. He uses it every night. Instead of waking 10 times a night, he sleeps through the night. The Restless leg syndrome has quieted, he is no longer jerked awake by overactive nerve activity in his legs and feet.
I was skeptical that this would work, but after months and months of interrupted sleep and medical avenues not providing any relief, we were getting desperate. I figured what have we got to lose? I highly recommend this especially to anyone dealing with similar symptoms or issues.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalHuggingDay
Give someone a big hug. Or, if you need one, ask for a hug and reap the benefits. Use #NationalHuggingDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL HUGGING DAY HISTORY
The holiday was founded by Rev. Kevin Zaborney on March 29, 1986, in Caro, Michigan.
Each year on January 6th, National Cuddle Up Day encourages us to snuggle up with someone for the health benefits and more!
January is typically some of the coldest days of the year, so what better way to stay warm and reap the health benefits of cuddling on National Cuddle Up Day? Whether it’s a three dog night (a night so cold it takes three dogs to cuddle up with to stay warm) or only slightly chilly, there are multiple benefits to cuddling with human or canine or other pet.
Cuddling releases oxytocin. This hormone alone has tremendous health benefits. Besides giving us warm and fuzzy feelings, oxytocin reduces pain. So when the cold has made those muscles and joints ache, cuddling can help reduce those aches and pains.
Oxytocin also helps reduce heart disease, lowers blood pressure, stress, and anxiety. If it weren’t free, insurance carriers would probably cover cuddling since it’s such a huge health benefit!
Communication is more than just e-mails, texts, or conversation. Physical touch can communicate trust, commitment, safety, and reassurance. This goes for human to human contact as well as human to pet contact. Cuddling expresses all these things, which are vital to a healthy relationship.
Cuddling also boosts sexual desire. Dopamine is released, stimulating the brain to seek pleasure. But dopamine also can improve memory and focus as well.
Don’t have someone to cuddle up with? Make an appointment for a massage. Studies show massage provides similar benefits.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalCuddleUpDay
Cuddle up with someone you love. Invite your pet up on the sofa for a snuggle session. Schedule a massage. Use #NationalCuddleUpDay
Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
WikipediaDate: Wednesday, December 25, 2019
TrendingCelebrations: Gift-giving, family and other social gatherings, symbolic decoration, feasting etc Significance: Commemoration of the Nativity of Jesus Observances: Church servicesAlso called: Noël, Nativity, XmasObserved by: Christians, many non-Christians
As we celebrate this Festive holiday(s), we remember that not everyone can be home. A special seasons greetings to our Deployed military and families, first responders and those whose job keeps them away from their family. We are truly thankful for the job you do. So to our first responders let’s hope it’s a Silent Night. For our troops, no creature us storing not even a mouse. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
Love conspiracy theories? Enjoy pondering about bizarre events that seem to have no explanations? Then Curious Events Day, a made-up holiday celebrated every year on October 9, is just the holiday you need to celebrate!
While the origins of this curious holiday are unknown, we suspect that the creators of this day wanted people to stop worrying about the small things in life and focus their attention on all the inexplicable, baffling and peculiar mysteries of the world.
Small or Big Events
Life is full of curious events – big and small. Like for example, where do all those socks disappear to after doing laundry, or why do people open their mouths when applying mascara? Some mysteries have occupied curious and adventurous minds around the world. These include: Who made the stonehenge and for what purpose? Does Bigfoot exist and can ghosts communicate with humans? And then there are the bigger, more philosophical mysteries of life – like what happens when we die or what is what is beyond the edge of the universe?
This is a fun holiday to get started in the spirit of Halloween. After all October wouldn’t be complete without it’s spooky tales, involved mysteries, and other goings on. The Travel channel usually does a haunted travels show. Find creepy hotels, houses and other places where some guests have never checked out. Here in Pensacola, our own Lighthouse has been featured on these shows supposing it’s haunted by a keeper who still tends it. There are ghost tours scheduled in the historic village downtown. As the oldest noncontinuous settlement in Florida. It’s a good guess that we have a few involved mysteries here.
How to Celebrate?
No matter what kind of curious events interest you, Curious Events Day is a holiday to spend some time being inquisitive about the world around you.
- Read or watch documentaries about some of the more famous curious incidents and events that have happened in the history of humankind – disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle, sightings of the Yeti and the Loch Ness monster, crop circles, UFO sightings in Roswell.
- Become a sleuth yourself and try to find explanations of curious events that intrigue you.
Did You Know…
…that the English language idiom curiosity killed the cat, means that getting curious and prying into other people’s affairs can get one into trouble?
September is here! I love fall, & not just because pumpkin-spice everything is back on menu’s. (I’m a Cinnamon dolce latte girl.) After the high temperatures of summer in Florida I look forward to cooler breezes blowing through the northwest Florida climate. While our fall runs a much shorter period of time here there are several really good reasons to look ahead.
Cooler temperatures here means less likely to get a hurricane. That said I know the tropics have just started their fireworks for places along any coastline. While our hearts and minds go out to family, friends, and even strangers as we watch Dorian, we are breathing a small sigh of relief it’s not coming here. I’m a native Florida girl do I have grown up with it just like Californian’s grew up with earthquakes, and others grew up with tornados. Between you and me i’ll take my hurricanes over the others. (We at least get about a weeks warning to get out if it’s going to be really bad.)
Hurricanes – What You Need to Know
Actloe Women Cowl Neck Plaid Long Sleeve Pullover Tops Casual Tunic Sweatshirt
If you never learn anything about how this works, that’s okay. Cool weather means high pressure systems. They repel hurricanes, for the most part. While there can be late season surprises we only need to be hyper vigilant through November. The cooler temps let me unpack my favorite sweaters and even wear a pair of jeans outside without melting. I get to show off my cute boots, make out my birthday wish list, and make cozy comfort food like my easy chili that everyone loves.
With the holiday season not far away I’ve started thinking about the joys of the season, the gifting, I love doing and the way things seem to sparkle under the moon with frost on the ground.
With the hustle if everyday life going full speed ahead I like to remind myself of the simple things that brighten someones day. Seeing others smile pleases me. Especially when I get no credit for it. The season of Thanksgiving is coming but, I like to spread some joy when it’s not expected. A kind word, a cup of hot tea, a child’s excitement, or just the neighbor helping neighbor we see in communities impacted by foul weather. Each of us have the power to make each day a wonderful experience to remember. So jump in the pile of leaves with the kids, dress up for Halloween, volunteer, and brighten the day.
August 22 is Be An Angel Day. Established in 1993 by Jaune Howard Feldman, the day encourages people to be angels to those in need.
In many religions, angels are supernatural spirits that are thought to be responsible for protecting humans.
Are you an Angel? This day reminds us that even though we can’t be actual angels, we can create the kindness they are known for. Showing kindness and goodness to our fellow human beings is not hard – all we need to do is to stop thinking about ourselves for a while, and to think about how we can make the world a nicer and kinder place.
How to Celebrate?
- Be kind to others. Do something to help a stranger.
- Commit Random acts of kindness, without any expectations of reciprocation, do one today and everyday. For example, give up your seat on the bus or train, pay for the coffee the person behind you at the coffee shop, or leave a small gift in your neighbor’s mailbox.
- Do something that will bring a smile to someones face.
- If you know of someone who is going through a difficult time, give them your support and let them know that you are there for them. Help them out in their difficult times.
- If someone is being an angel to you, thank them, and let them know that their kindness appreciated.
In today’s world we have the opportunity to be anything, be kind!
The person you make smile today may need it far more than you know.
If you decide to give to a charity there are a lot of choices out there. I try to give to charities who spend more on the people they help than administration and CEO’s. Here are a listing of my favorites.
The Salvation Army exists to meet human need wherever, whenever and however we can. When you give locally, you ensure that the people in your community get the help they need.
An alumni from school started her own non-profit for Hurricane Micheal Recovery in Bay County. Way to go Rachel!
- Reduce the number of animals put down every year in the Florida Panhandle (more than 12,000)
- Spay or neuter as many animals as possible (especially feral cats)
- Educate the public about the importance of spay and neuter
- Help rehome animals in need
Animal Allies Florida was founded in December 2010 to help animals in our community. Many of us have been doing this work for years on our own, out of our own pockets. By creating Animal Allies , we can apply for grants, fundraise and join programs that support our efforts. We can combine forces, share knowledge, and support each other, instead of trudging along on our own. Originally called Emerald Coast Animal Allies or ECAA for short, we changed our name in 2015 because many people though ECAA meant Escambia County Animal Shelter. Although we support the county animal shelter’s efforts to become no kill, we don’t wish to be associated with them because we ARE NO KILL meaning no healthy animal is put down.
Whatever you choose, know that you are making a real difference in someone’s life. Sometimes the biggest gift you can give another is to simply be there and listen. Each of us makes an impact in the lives we touch. I always compare it to touching the surface of a pond. Those ripples will be felt by others, I try to make my ripples count. I hope this inspires you to get involved, give, and simply be kind in a world that so often is not. Together all those positive ripples add up and shape our world.