St. John Tradewinds News

The Crisis Center Connection by Susan Mann

Should Every Day Be Valentine’s Day in Love City? 

Each year an estimated one billion cards are sent to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The United States is not the only country to celebrate the event. Canada, the UK, Mexico, France, and Australia also participate.  

Americans spend about $30 million on Valentine’s Day cards and gifts. The first “store bought” Valentine in the U.S. was sent sometime in the 1840s. Interestingly, about 85 percent of all Valentine card purchases are made by women.

This did not surprise me, since two men here in Love City have recently asked me to tell them the date Valentine’s Day falls on, so they could stay out of trouble!

Sometimes people, especially grownups, feel a little sad on Valentine’s Day if they don’t have a significant other. All the advertisements on television and in the newspapers for cards, jewelry, etc., get to be a little much for us.

The ad hoc sale tables laden with Valentine gifts in Cruz Bay, and other island locations, seem to beckon us to see what we are missing out on! Am I supposed to be my own Valentine? Might as well be! Why not?

So far I have succeeded in getting out all of my Valentine cookie cutters, making a run to Dolphin Market to buy sugar cookie supplies, coming home and realizing I don’t have baking powder, mixing the batter anyway, and then eating too much cookie dough!

My justification for the latter action is: if they make an ice cream flavor called “cookie dough,” (which they do!) I must be saving money by not going back to the store.

When I was a little kid, one of my favorite things about Valentine’s Day was the card we made for our mothers at school. There was a white-lacey looking, paper shaped heart which we pasted in the middle of the red construction paper heart which we had cut out. We wrote a note to our moms on the back.

Each student also decorated a special envelope to receive anticipated Valentines from our class members. The teacher then mounted them on the bulletin board. Some students only had a handful of Valentines by the big day, while other envelopes were brimming over with cards from special friends.

Everyone saw who had the most, who had received hardly any, etc. We even counted the Valentines in our envelopes when the teacher was out of the room, and hurriedly put them back! It was important to know which students were clearly on the top — and at the bottom of every one’s popularity list!

Following are some books which John Dickson up at the Marketplace book store, Papaya Café, can order for teachers and parents who may want to take a different, or supplemental, approach to Valentine’s Day celebrations.

“The Day it Rained Hearts,” is a book for little ones, up to third grade. A girl gets caught in a rainstorm of hearts. Each heart is different, so she collects them to make Valentine’s cards for all the different kinds of people she knows.

“The Legend of the Valentine,” is about a boy named Marcus who uses the story of St. Valentine to understand the actions of civil rights workers in 1960s Alabama. The story about Marcus is written for kids in grades 3 through 6.

Information about these books and other resources came from one of my favorite Web sites — teachingtolerance.org.
Civic minded folks who may want to send a Valentine to a “Love City” public school book shelf, or our public library might want to stop by and talk to John at the book store. The books are fairly inexpensive.

The St. John Community Crisis Center has staff and other resources available to help women and men who feel they, or their children, may be at risk of domestic violence in their living situations.

Counseling is also available for citizens who have been directly or indirectly harmed as a result of a criminal act of violence. Call the SJCCC at 693-7233 or stop by to speak with a staff member.