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.
Devoted to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children and providing access to books for children in need, Book Giving Day calls on volunteers to share their favourite book with a young reader. Although the holiday originated in the UK, book lovers around the world now join in the celebrations every year.
Book Giving Day has few organised events. Instead, individual volunteers are encouraged to give a favourite book or books to children. This can take many forms; some people give books as gifts to their own children or to those of friends. Others donate books to children’s libraries, schools or charities. Still others leave books in places where they’ll be found, such as doctors’ waiting rooms or coach stations.
The organisers of Book Giving Day support the holiday by sharing participants’ stories and offering bonuses such as downloadable holiday bookplates to use in gifts.
Support These Literacy Organisations
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.
There are two kinds of people who venture out for Black Friday. The first is the ultimate bargain hunter. Then there are those who are going out for the fun of it. Both have different styles and goals in mind. Which ever you are here are some great tips, even if you are in an in between category.
Is it worth it? My retailers have given up the holiday of Thanksgiving itself. The practice started as retailers began to compete. Every year the store opening and crazy deals have gotten earlier in an effort to beat out their competition. Several years ago some started at 6am. Now they’ve backed into Thanksgiving Day itself. I worked these crazy schedules for years. I can vividly remember my first Black Friday morning. When pulling into my mall and seeing the lines stretched around the buildings in the freezing weather.
Opening the doors has to be done with great care to avoid being trampled. As I was behind a vast counter, I’ve never been so thankful for the two feet separating them from me. One year they even had a stampeding hoard going up the escalators behind me. I’ve seen the news reports of violence and thought wow I’m glad i don’t live there. Then people did it in my store over $15 toasters.
I decided upon witnessing this i would never need a toaster it waffle iron that much. The danger is just not worth saving $5.00. While I did work this for many years, I’m thankful I’m not giving up my family time anymore.
As you venture out this shopping weekend please remember to be patient, kind, and respectful to the retail personnel who work so hard for you. Many have to now completely give up their family Thanksgiving to be here and ready for your shopping pleasure. Here are my insider tips after so many years behind the counter.
Do you really need it on Thanksgiving Day? While fun, you give up that precious time with your family. Those moments once gone can never be reclaimed. Like several of my close family, and indeed myself coming to close to having no more of those moments I appreciate them more profoundly. I remember my dad’s smiles and hugs, his military service humor. The warmth is given to each other as we spend a relaxed afternoon sharing stories, memories, food, and catching up on experiences. So decide if you really want to give that up.
- If you are venturing out have a game plan. You should rank items in terms of importance.
- Divide and conquer- Go as a group. It adds to both the fun and makes it easier to find and get what you want.
- Coupons and deals – Make sure you know the store policies on both the deals and coupons. If you find them in the sales ad or online read the fine print. Some cannot be used until after a certain time or even date. Lots of retailers give out coupons at the door Thursday/Friday for Saturday and Sunday. Knowing this in advance makes it easier to both budget and keep transactions smooth in the stores.
Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!For most this is a beverage we use to kickstart our days. If this sounds like you make sure you have some both before venturing out and throughout the day. Being tired or exhausted lead to shorter tempers and less patience. On this day your experience will prove much more pleasant if you have these qualities in abundance.Limited Quantities – The deals you see can only be anticipated to a certain extent by retailers. It is also a gamble on their part. They have to bet on what items you will buy. This represents a good amount of money invested to have an item in stock at your local store. Some items can have the special pricing locked in by order that day. Keep in mind the clerk in front of you in all likelihood had no part in those decisions. As they also do not have the final say in some policies. Knowing this will help you make choices on these items. It will also keep lines moving so the people behind you will stay happier.
For most this is a beverage we use to kickstart our days. If this sounds like you make sure you have some both before venturing out and throughout the day. Being tired or exhausted lead to shorter tempers and less patience. On this day your experience will prove much more pleasant if you have these qualities in abundance.Limited Quantities – The deals you see can only be anticipated to a certain extent by retailers. It is also a gamble on their part. They have to bet on what items you will buy. This represents a good amount of money invested to have an item in stock at your local store. Some items can have the special pricing locked in by order that day. Keep in mind the clerk in front of you in all likelihood had no part in those decisions. As they also do not have the final say in some policies. Knowing this will help you make choices on these items. It will also keep lines moving so the people behind you will stay happier.
Where ever your adventure takes you make sure to bring your smile, your patience, and anything you need such as credit card, photo ID, cell phone charger, phone, and any apps you may need to keep it fun.
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.