Who was St. Valentine?


We all know the contemporary and cultural references for Valentine’s Day. But do we know the origins?

St. Valentine is a 3rd-century Roman saint. He is commemorated on February 14 as that was the date of his execution in 269 A.D.

Different church traditions recognize or do not recognize Valentine. But who was he?

As the story is told in at least one version, Valintinus was arrested and imprisoned for marrying Christian couples in a time in the Roman Empire when helping Christians was considered a crime. Other stories say that he defied the order of the emperor and secretly married couples so that husbands wouldn’t have to go to war.

The celebration of St. Valentine’s Day also has many possible origins. In 14th Century England, Geoffrey Chaucer was among those whose writings associated February 14 with romantic love. During the Middle Ages, it was believed that birds paired in mid-February. This became associated with Valentine’s romance.

Just as St. Nicholas has morphed into the modern day versions of Santa Claus, St. Valentine probably never expected that he would be remembered with chocolates and flowers.

Happy Valentine’s Day.


Valentine’s Week: 10 Quotes About Love

This Wednesday, February 14, is Valentine’s Day. Across the nation and around the world people will be declaring their love. Whether romantic love, brotherly love, or a love for all, here are ten of our favorite quotes about love.











Have a favorite quote or story about love? Share in the comments, or give a link back to your blog!

You have ONE week


Christmas is one week from today. Are you ready?

We’ve given you gift suggestions for him and for her. We’ve told you how to
select your tree. We’ve been talking Christmas for days.

At some point you’re going to have to step up your game.

Or maybe you’re one of those over achievers who shops and wraps everything
before Labor Day, your tree is up well before Thanksgiving, your Christmas
dinner is planned, and all you’re waiting for is for guests to arrive.

All you have to do is pour another glass of eggnog and tune into your Favorite
Christmas Specials.

Much applause to you if you are. You are very likely in the minority.

For the rest of the world, brace yourself. You’re going to have to go shopping
tomorrow on the Saturday before Christmas. You can do it.

It’s Christmas.  Just believe!

Remembering the Sears Wish Book


Not so many years ago, children would anticipate the arrival of the Sears Wish Book almost as much as they anticipated Christmas Day itself.

The catalog would arrive and children would spend hours pouring over the pages circling or flagging the gifts they hoped that Santa would leave under the tree.

From the Sears archives we learn that the very first Sears Wish Book, known then as the Search Christmas Book came out in 1933.  The catalog included things like “Miss Pigtails” dolls, a battery powered automobile, Lionel electric trains and a Mickey Mouse watch.  By 1968 the Wish Book had over 600 pages.

Sears discontinued the printing of the Wish Book in 1993.  By 2010 the Wish Book was mobile and available via smartphones.

Sometimes, it’s still good to wish.

Finding the perfect Christmas tree


Many people choose the convenience of artificial trees. They can come pre-lighted, they can come in white, or you can go retro and get something in silver.

Of course the most retro of all is the live tree. Here are some tips for picking the perfect tree.

1. Make sure you know the height of your ceiling. You’ll need to choose a tree that fits comfortable, allowing for the tree stand, and the tree topper. No need to give the angel a stiff neck.

2. At the tree lot, if you don’t cut it yourself, check the needles on the tree. Very few should fall off of a fresh tree and the needles should be pliable.

3. Trees like Fraser and Noble Fir have shorter needles and may be easier to decorate. But there are many styles to choose from and you should go with what appeals to you most.

4. Look for a tree that has a good amount of space between branches so that you have room for the ornaments to hang straight.

5. When you bring the tree home, if you can put it inside your vehicle. If you must tie it to the top of your vehicle, wrap in an old blanket or tarp and make sure it’s securely tied to your car.

And don’t forget to keep the tree fresh when you bring it into your home. It will last longer and be much more safe if you follow these tips.

Before you bring the tree in, ask the seller to cut off an inch from the base, or do it yourself before you put it in the stand. Make sure the cut is straight so the tree will balance.

Put the three in a stand that will hold at least a gallon of water. The make sure you keep it well watered, assuring that the water level never goes below the base of the tree.

No matter what you’ve heard about addting to tree water, plain water is the best option.

Make sure not to place the tree near a heat source or in direct sunlight.

Five Christmas Blogs We Love


The Christmas season is upon us. Shopping, decorating, baking. Whatever your holiday traditions there are hundreds of bloggers out there to help you bring joy to your home. Here are five of our favorites.

Wiser Lake Chapel
Advent 2015 – The Names of Jesus
26 days of exploring the names given to Christ.
Luke 1:31 -You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the
name Jesus.

A Debbie-Dabble Christmas
Dedicated to All Things Christmas

Bells Will Be Ringing
Marks’ Holiday Music Blog
A blog about the best sounds of the season.

Bringing Families Together
A Holiday Home Decorating Blog by Balsam Hill
The Christmas tree supplier brings together holiday tips and ideas.

Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts has 30 Christmas Cookie Recipes to make your holiday

Have some favorite Christmas posts or blogs? Share them in the comments.