With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many people will be choosing special cards, gifts and/or candy for those that have special meaning in their lives. One of my favorite memories of this holiday when my children were in elementary school was watching them prepare their Valentines for family and friends. It was so fun to watch them pick out the little cards and choose the candy they wanted to give with their Valentines, then write ever-so-carefully “to” and” from” names on each card. Their anticipation of celebrating at school with their friends was a joy to watch.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated in numerous countries around the world, each with its own variation of traditions and customs for the holiday. In Finland, Valentine’s Day is known as “Friends Day” with an emphasis on remembering all of your friends (not only your loved ones). Norway enjoys a custom of a character named “Jack” Valentine who delivers gifts and candy to children at the back door of their houses. In Japan, the holiday is more about women giving to men – and it is typically chocolate that is given, not necessarily cards and flowers. The Japanese men reciprocate in the month of March.
The Stillwater Public Library offers a selection of Valentine- themed books, music CD’s and audio books for people of all ages to enjoy in preparation for the holiday. From Easy reader books like “Ruby Valentine saves the day,” by Laurie B. Friedman, to Juvenile selections such as “Cam Jansen and the Valentine baby mystery,” by David A. Adler. A good choice for young adults is “Valentine Princess,” by Meg Cabot. Those that are inspired by music might enjoy the selection of music CD’s including “Love Songs,” by Miles Davis, or “Picture This,” by Jim Brickman or perhaps for the musician, the book of “Best Songs Ever.” Interested in making homemade gifts? “Hearts and Crafts,” by Sheri Brownrigg will give numerous craft and recipe ideas for this romantic holiday. For mystery lovers, “Death of a Valentine,” by M.C. Beaton has been a very popular item at the library.
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, however you choose to celebrate! Hope to see you soon at the Library!