Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy Valentines Day America! What's in your heart this Valentine's Day?

“To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
And dupp'd the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.”

~~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet,
Act IV, Scene 5
Valentine's Day
as ruefully mentioned by Ophelia in Hamlet (1600–1601

Are you still looking for that special gift idea and want to give back to someone? Gifts can be so very hard to find but you still have 3 days to give that special thoughtful gift.

Why not give the book that is "red all over" (pun intended), and filled with heart, humor and everyday business insight, "The World Without Pants: WordPress and the Future of Work" by Scott Berkun. It's available on Amazon in hardcover, kindle and also at Barnes & Noble hardcover and nook.

Photo of book cover courtesy of Scott Berkun

Here's a link to my book review on the AllThingsDigitalMarketing blog post September 2013.

Saint Valentine's Day, commonly known as Valentine's Day, or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it remains a working day in most countries.

The first recorded association of Valentine's Day with romantic love was 632 years ago in Parliament of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer.

Chaucer wrote:

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
["For this was on Saint Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate."]

This poem by Chaucer was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. A treaty providing for a marriage was signed on May 2, 1381. (When they were married eight months later, they were each only 15 years old).

Have you marked your calendars for giving back this month? February is the month of love and of "giving back," be it supporting a cause or simply going the extra mile for someone. The energi PR firm in Canada is dedicating Valentine's Day to "Acts of Love & Kindness" and closing the office on Friday, February 14th to continue it's strong message of corporate social responsibility.

ACTS of LOVE & KINDNESS performed by energi PR on Friday, February 14, 2014 can be followed online on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #energiPRALK.

ALK (Acts of Love & Kindness) was conceived in 1994 by Patrice Tanaka, chief counselor and creative strategist at PadillaCRT and was later adopted by more than 50 public relations firms in the US through the Public Relations Society of America. energi PR approached Tanaka and sought her blessing to bring ALK up to Canada as part of its corporate social responsibility program.

The most popular martyrology associated with Saint Valentine was that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire; during his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius.

Legend states that before his execution he wrote "from your Valentine" as a farewell to her.

Today, Saint Valentine's Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion, as well as in the Lutheran Church.

The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates Saint Valentine's Day, however on July 6th in honor of Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and July 30th, in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna.

Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae) and Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae). Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. The flower crowned skull.

The modern cliché Valentine's Day poem can be found in the collection of English nursery rhymes Gammer Gurton's Garland (1784):
The rose is red, the violet's blue,
The honey's sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou'd be you.

According to the U.S. Greeting Card Association approximately 190 million valentines are sent each year in the US. Half of those valentines are given to family members other than husband or wife, usually to children. When you include the valentine-exchange cards made in school activities the figure goes up to 1 billion, and teachers become the people receiving the most valentines. Also, many send Valentines Day chocolates and other candies.

New traditions have evolved with the internet. Millions of people today use digital (e.g., eCards, eCoupons, etc.) to send Valentine's Day greeting messages. An estimated 15 million e-valentines were sent in 2010. Below are two sets of Valentines Day card collages, to view detail, zoom in 150% to 200%.

Do you plan on volunteering this month and on Valentines Day? Are you participating in any social responsibility initiatives for the month of February? Please share in the comments section and do include links to any of your Valentines Day giving back themed campaigns.

Other Resources
♦ Closed for the day: Gone volunteering, NewsWire.ca http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1296689/closed-for-the-day-gone-volunteering
♦ 10 things for happier living: do things for others, actionforhappiness.org, http://www.actionforhappiness.org/10-keys-to-happier-living/do-things-for-others?gclid=CO-V0fuup7wCFZDm7AodiXoAQQ
♦ Becoming Ginger Rogers, How Ballroom Dancing Made Me a Happier Woman, Better Partner, and Smarter CEO, Patrice Tanaka http://www.prsa.org/Conferences/HealthAcademy/Archives/2012/Sessions/2012BecomingGingerRogers#.UusLS_ldV7M
♦ Valentines Day Ecards http://www.americangreetings.com/ecards/valentines-day?source=aggoogle548
♦ Greeting Card Association http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeting_Card_Association
♦ No better place to say "I Love You" than Times Square, TimesSquare.org http://www.timessquarenyc.org/events/valentines-day/index.aspx
♦ Guy Kawasaki Google Plus, https://plus.google.com/+GuyKawasaki/posts/8SaRPXr8cEA#+GuyKawasaki/posts/8SaRPXr8cEA
♦ Valentines Day Recipes & Cooking, FoodNetwork http://www.foodnetwork.com/valentines-day/package/index.html

All photos courtesy of Wikimedia and screen shots taken from video and websites. All other photos will be credited as required.

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