By Ruth Hovor

It’s that time again. February: The Month of Love. The time when every store is decorated in red, and Valentine’s Day products are prominently displayed. The time

Valentine's Day is almost here! How could you make the day special if you're single?
Valentine’s Day is almost here! How could you make the day special? Photo by Ruth Hovor.

when store employees hope that some love struck guy will go all out for his girl. The time where girls hope that their “love” will give them some romantic gift or lovely card signed “From your Valentine”. The time when guys are saying, “Oh my God. Valentine’s Day is almost here. I almost forgot. My girlfriend would have killed me.” That’s right, it’s that time. February 14 is almost here and how much do you know about it?

People have different stories about who the original Valentine was but the most popular theory is of Saint Valentine. Saint Valentine was a priest who served during the 3rd Century in Rome while Emperor Claudius II was in rule. Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers in battle than men who were married and had children. Therefore, he outlawed the marriage of young men. Saint Valentine felt that the Emperor was unjust in his decision and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. It is also believed that Valentine had been attempting to help Christians escape from the harsh Roman prisons, where they were usually tortured and beaten. The Emperor discovered this and ordered that Valentine be arrested and put to death.

While in prison, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter who visited him during his confinement. Young couples he had secretly wed would visit his cell and pass notes and flowers to him through the cell bars as a symbol of their gratitude. On February 14 he was put to death but before he died he passed a note to the jailors daughter signed “From your Valentine”.

Today we celebrate Valentine’s Day in honor of him. Now lovers exchange heart- shaped candy, flowers (preferably red flowers), notes and cards. Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year. This makes it the second largest card-selling holiday of the year. (The first is Christmas.)

So maybe you don’t know what to do for this very significant day. Here are some ideas for both the single and the attached:

Who says that the single can’t enjoy Valentine’s Day!

1. Get together with a friend or group of friends who are single and do something together. Go out to dinner, plan to see a movie during the weekend, go shopping. (Don’t have money? Beg your parents for some. They refuse? Then go window-shopping or find something else to do.)

2. Show yourself some love. Buy yourself a box of chocolates or bake yourself some cupcakes (heart-shaped would be great), write yourself a Valentine note, get that bracelet you’ve been looking at for a long time. (When I say “get”, I don’t mean steal). Or get a massage, but just do something nice for yourself. Go ahead, you deserve it!

3. Wait until two days after Valentine’s Day, then get together with someone and buy a whole bunch of the candy that goes on sale and enjoy.

4. Watch a romantic movie by yourself or with someone.

5. Spend some quality time with your pet. Buy its favorite treat. Valentine’s Day is for showing love.

6. Plan to do something nice for your family. Even those annoying siblings.

7. Read a romantic book or poem.

8. Write a romantic story or poem and give it to someone special.

9. Get dressed in all Valentine colors.

10. Offer to babysit a couple’s kids on Valentine’s day so they can go on a date. Perhaps they’ll pay you enough so that you can spoil yourself later.

Have a great Valentine’s Day!