TV Shows and Valentine's Day Cards: A Total Mismatch

When I say Valentine's Day, what do you think of first? Cupids, hearts and chocolates? How about Batman, Transformers and Bakugan? Well, your kids’ answers may not match yours, thanks to the plethora of boxed V-Day kids cards that seem more about tune-in times than valentines.

At one drugstore, I saw Spiderman valentines, Star Wars valentines (See you Vader!), Wizards of Waverly Place valentines, G-Force valentines, Wolverine valentines, and G.I. Joe valentines. Apparently, few things say "I love you" like heavily body-armored super soldiers.

While love-and-romance-themed valentine's day traditions seem to have been completely appropriated, there's an even deeper history to Valentine's Day that goes completely overlooked by just about everyone. More people know about Punxsutawney Phil than about St. Valentine.

In truth (and lore), Valentine was a third-century priest who started performing illegal marriages way before San Francisco had the idea. He was arrested, but met a girl while in the slammer, and wrote her a farewell message, signed: "from your Valentine". The rest is history. (For more details, check out VH-1's "I Love the 270's!") 

In a typical parental mission to replace ignorance with embellished truth, I shared the story with my kids, making St. Valentine a Jedi Knight and the blind girl a beautiful princess. After the quick history lesson, we immediately went to Kmart to purchase some cardboard SpongeBob valentines.

There's history, sure, and then there's tradition.

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