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.
National Use Your Gift Card Day reminds Americans to use the $1 billion in gift cards left unused each year. On the third Saturday in January, take stock of the gift cards you received over the holidays. Make the most of each one of them before they’re forgotten for good!
We all do it. Stash away gift cards thinking we will have more time later to use them. They collect dust and disappear into an abyss somewhere. We discover them as we clean and often don’t remember how much was on the card or if we used a portion of it. Those partial balances add up, too! The first step is to collect the cards together and see what you have. You know where to look.
- Every pocket of every purse and wallet you have
- The infamous junk drawer
- Glove compartment of the car
- Bottom of the toy box (it may have been used to scrape goo off a toy)
- The other junk drawer
- A gift bag with the tissue paper still in it
- The toolbox (we know what happens when a flathead screwdriver can’t be found)
Once you have your gift cards, get organized. Where do the gift cards work? Restaurants, retail, and services all offer gift cards. Some gift cards are designed to be used just about anywhere.
Maximizing Your Gift
- Check for deals to maximize your gift cards. In most cases, gift cards work just like cash and can be used with coupons. There are exceptions, however, so it’s always good to check first.
- Is the card to a place you don’t shop? You have a few options:
- See if the card is good at a companion location
- Check to see if the gift card can be cashed out
- Have a gift card swap party or sell your gift card for cash
- Donate your gift card to a charity fundraiser like a silent auction
- Plan to overspend the amount of the gift card to avoid having small balances lying around. Even if you add a small useful item (lip balm is always handy) to go a penny over the amount, you’ll be able to hand the card over to the retailer to recycle the card.
HOW TO OBSERVE #UseYourGiftCardDay
Collect your gift cards. It’s time to use them. Don’t let them sit for a year and risk losing your gift altogether. Maximize your gift cards with deals and get the most out of your gift cards, too. Have a shopping spree or a spa day with your gift cards. Don’t let those gifts and savings pass you by! Use #UseYourGiftCardDay to share on social media.
NATIONAL USE YOUR GIFT CARD DAY HISTORY
Tilson PR founded National Use Your Gift Card Day in 2020 to make sure everyone gets the most out of their gift cards. Leave no gift card unturned and find tips, ideas, and deals by visiting useyourgiftcard.com, too.
National Thank You Note Day on December 26th recognized the time-honored tradition of thanking people for their gifts, hospitality and generosity. It is a day to get some note cards, paper, pen, envelopes, and stamps to write those special thank yous.
Taking the time to thank family and friends with a personalized message has special meaning. The receiver of the “thank you” will enjoy getting the card in the mail and the message you have written.
Personal messages also convey to friends and family a deeper, more intimate sentiment. These handwritten notes, however brief, carry a tactile expression of thanks that verbal communication often lacks.
Have the kids draw a picture for theirs if they are not old enough to write a thank you, note. Family and friends will cherish a “thank you” from a grandchild, nephew, niece… Will mean a great deal to the receiver. My mom puts those treasures front and center on the fridge, where such works of art belong. As they get older encourage the more traditional thank you notes. This will help them learn to respect the gift and the giver. Starting a good habit that will last many years into the future.
Never underestimate the power of “THANK YOU!”
HOW TO OBSERVE #ThankYouNoteDay
Writing a thank you has become a bit of lost art. We have provided a few tips to help along the way.
Begin your thank you by acknowledging the specific gift and how thoughtful it is. If the gift was delivered, then assure the sender it arrived safely and how much you enjoy it.
If the giver presented the gift personally, mention something you remember from your visit. Then thank them for the perfect gift they took the time to bring by describing it and how ideal it is for you.
Close your thank you by gushing about how kind the giver was for remembering you!
Within a few lines, you will have the knack of writing thank you cards. Share your tips using #NationalThankYouNoteDay to post on social media.
Computer Security Day on November 30th reminds us to protect our computers. Every day, computers become faster and more advanced. Protecting the resources, tools, and information on them protects the people who use them, too.
Since the first home computer, how we use them has changed. Today, we use computers to stay connected. We bank and work from home. While computers are on every campus in every school, many gain an education right from home. We do our taxes, attend meetings and research complex issues all on computers.
Wouldn’t it make sense to do everything possible to keep these powerful machines secure? Some of them hold a lifetime of data. Precious and irreplaceable photos, journals, novels, passwords. It’s vital to protect even a portion of that information. Our very identity exists on computers.
Identity theft, fraud, ransomware, viruses, and more constantly attack our computers. They seek the most vulnerable users. In an instant, they take us offline, derailing a lifetime of accomplishment. Protect your family and business by giving your computers a security check-up.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ComputerSecurityDay
Use the checklist below to secure your computer. It’s important to review your computer’s security on a regular basis. If you use social media, it’s a good time to review your settings. Social media is another way identity thieves, viruses and computer fraud is committed. Spread the word on social media using #ComputerSecurityDay to inform others how they can secure their data!
- Enable Windows Update.
- Install and keep running antivirus software.
- Turn on Windows Firewall.
- Keep all software updated.
- Always use strong passwords.
- Don’t share passwords and don’t write them down.
- A password is required to access my computer.
- Remove unused programs.
- Secure your wireless network.
- Back up critical data.
- Use caution when browsing the Internet.
- I log off the computer when I’m not using it.
- My web browser does not store or remember my passwords.
- Periodically remove temporary Internet files.
COMPUTER SECURITY DAY HISTORY
In 1988, the Association for Computer Security launched the first Computer Security Day to raise awareness concerning computer security issues.
World Smile Day
The first Friday of October every year is celebrated around the globe as World Smile Day. The unofficial holiday encourages people to do acts of kindness to spread good will and cheer.
First started in 1999 by the creator of the smiley, Harvey Ball, the holiday celebrates the intent behind the now universally recognized icon – to bring a smile of the faces of people around the world. The purpose of the holiday was the move away from the commercialization of the smiley and to use it as a symbol of kindness and affection.
The smiley made its debut in 1963 as a way to increase the morale of the employees of a life insurance company. Today, it is one of the most popular nonverbal ways to convey joy, happiness and cheer. The smiley face began as a bright yellow circle with two dots to represent eyes and a black line that represents a smiling mouth.
Today, there are many different versions of the smiley, representing many other human emotions such a sadness, surprise, worry and laughter. In modern texting smileys are used to express emotions in online conversations on a smartphone or on a computer. The practice has its origin in Japan, and the smileys and other icons are known as emoji.
How to Celebrate?
- Make people around you smile.
- Do a random act of kindness. Buy a stranger a coffee. Compliment someone. Give your seat up to someone on the bus.
- Surprise someone in your family with a visit, cook a meal for them, or do something special for them.
- Volunteer your time and/ or money at a local nonprofit organization.
Did you know?
…that babies are born with the ability to smile?
National Taco Day
The National Taco Day Gift Set is back. In Taco Bells all over the US – and that is a fact. It includes four tacos of the iconic variety: two crunchy and two with even more notoriety. We’re speaking, of course, of the beloved DLT. The gift set carries two that are flavored Nacho Cheese.
Eat it all up or bestow it upon a friend, because for only $5, there’s no wrong way to spend. If your loved one lives far, there’s no need to fret. We’ve got other ways to gift, on that you can bet. Send a digital gift card for five dollars plus tax, even add a personal message to include with the snacks.
Growing up and even just two days ago Tacos are a fun easy dinner. Get our homemade recipe here.
On August 29, honor expertise, authority, and the rules because it is According to Hoyle Day. Titled after the English language phrase, according to Hoyle, the unofficial holiday celebrates the life and times of Englishman Edmond Hoyle, who died on this day in 1769.
A lawyer by trade, Edmond Hoyle is best known for publishing books detailing the rules and regulations of many popular card and board games of his time, including chess and backgammon. He is also known for writing an authoritative pamphlet on the card game of Whist.
Game of Skills
Whist is a trick card game played by two teams of two players each. The card game evolved from a previous game called Ruff and Honors and is the predecessor of Bridge. Popular in the 18th and the 19th century, the game required mathematical and logical skills.
Appeal to Authority
The phrase according to Hoyle came from the authoritative books Hoyle wrote on the rules and regulations of games. When people played these games and made a play that was questioned, they could invoke Hoyle’s rules by saying “according to Hoyle…”. Today, the phrase is used generally to suggest expertise or the highest authority on a subject matter.
How to Celebrate?
- Play a game of Whist by following Hoyle’s rules. Don’t know how? Today is a good excuse to learn!
- Are you an expert on a subject? Why not spend the day jotting your thought about the subject?
- Today Whist is more commonly known as Bridge.
Did You Know…
…the word Whist comes from whisk, from whisking or moving the cards during the game?
Information on this unofficial holiday provided by Time and Date.com