Ronni Hannaman: February is all about the heart

Keep it local! Valentine’s Day handmade chocolates featured in an edible chocolate candy box from the Chocolate Nugget Candy Factory. (Photo: Ronni Hannaman)

Keep it local! Valentine’s Day handmade chocolates featured in an edible chocolate candy box from the Chocolate Nugget Candy Factory. (Photo: Ronni Hannaman)

February is all about love and the heart. Right smack in the middle of the month is Valentine’s Day, the day dedicated to love all over the world.
It’s no secret many are not enthusiastic about celebrating Valentine’s Day, considering it over commercialized – yet another day to be pressured into spending hard-earned cash.
The naysayers are not alone, for research shows complainers have been doing so at least since 1847, yet this celebration of love continues to endure and grow. On Feb. 15, 1847, an op-ed in the New York Daily Tribune was published lamenting the growing commercialism of this day, “There was a time when Valentine’s Day meant something. Then it was a business of real lovers, and there was earnestness under it delicate, shy disguise.”
Whether the earnestness or real lovers are of a bygone era and the commercialism is a bit over the top, this mid-winter holiday gives us a cause to celebrate and reevaluate our lives and those we love. We are not the only country to make a big deal of the event. Most countries celebrate with their own traditions, many of which have been adopted here, although our traditions are most rooted in the British culture.
It is reported in 1861 British chocolatier Richard Cadbury started the tradition of giving candy in heart-shaped boxes on Valentine’s Day. We can bet those boxes were not made out of dark chocolate that may even be tastier than the bon bons packed inside. Yes, our very own Chocolate Nugget Candy Factory has gone far beyond the traditional fancy box that you hate to throw away but don’t know what to do with by packing their great chocolate treats inside an edible chocolate box. Stop by the factory stores off Old 395 in Washoe Valley or just off Highway 50 east on the road to Virginia City. Or place your order online https://chocolatenuggetcandyfactory.com/.
Of course, there’s the traditional Hallmark “when you care enough to send the very best” Valentine card full of loving prose that can be found in just about any grocery store or department store. Sorry, no longer any Hallmark stores in our area. You can thank Esther Holland of Massachusetts for making mass produced cards available in 1848 for those not proficient in writing their own poetic lines. Be sure to stop by the Purple Avocado for a unique bauble or two.
Red roses became synonymous with this day for the ancient Greeks declared roses a symbol of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. Pam’s Blooms of Carson City (775-350-8151) is now busy creating magic with rose creations that must be ordered in advance.
Jewelry is always a welcome gift and far more lasting than roses or candy. Some suggest choosing a birth stone to cherish whether a pendant, earrings, or ring. Diamonds, of course, are an intensely personal gift. Choose some great stones at the new Carson City Diamond Vault or the unusual art pieces found at Carson Jewelry & Loan or Northern Nevada Coin.
Dining out is an excellent option and could be combined with any of the above. Since Valentine’s Day is on a Monday when most restaurants are closed, be sure to book early for a weekend table. Don’t wait until the last minute otherwise you may be dining on heart shaped pizzas!
Yes, it’s a bit of a schmalzy celebration, but why not celebrate. We’ve had so little to celebrate of late.
Happy Valentine's Day to one and all and remember to dine and shop locally for the person you appreciate the most!
While Valentine’s Day may be taking center stage for February, let’s not forget this month also is American Heart Month. Take care of your heart emotionally and physically during February and every month of the year. May St. Valentine look favorably upon each of you!

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