Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Lenten (St.) Valentine's Day Challenge + A Giveaway!

I hate to brake it to you all, but yes Lent starts before Valentine's Day this year.  I know, what the hey right?  Romantic Day full of special dinners, wine and chocolate except that you just vowed three days ago that you were giving all of those up.  What are we to do?

I have a suggestion, and it's little radical.

Skip Valentine's Day.  Yep, you heard me - skip it.

I've probably lost a few of you already, but hear me out.  What I want you to skip is Valentine's Day - that phony-baloney holiday they use to sell the last of the red colored Christmas Candy (but what about the green you say.... three words.... Saint Patrick's Day).  I want you to give up that Valentine's Day.

Instead, I want you to celebrate Saint Valentine's Day... even if you're not Catholic and even if you're not Christian.

The early martyr whose feast day is February 14th is all about the love - legend has it that he was martyred because he arranged for secret marriages among Christian soldiers.  This was a guy who believed in love and marriage so much that he was willing to die for it.  (Take that, Ryan Adam's 90's hit song!)

Since Lent is a season of giving up - a time to purify your body and your soul - what better thing to give up than false love and affection.  Let go of all the silly notions of what your loved one needs to do to show you he or she loves you and take time to reflect on what you really have and not what someone thinks you should.

Now I'm not saying not to celebrate your undying love for each other on February 14th this year, but rather to take a moment and really think about what it is you're doing and so I offer you a Lenten {St.} Valentine's Day Challenge.

In honor this day and the person it is meant to celebrate I challenge you to:
  • Give Something Up For a Loved One
  • Do Something in Secret For a Loved One
  • Do Something To Strengthen a Marriage
The something you give up could be as simple as letting another choose the movie to watch or turning off the computer early.  The something you do in secret could be fresh sheets on the bed.  The something you do to strengthen a marriage could be for yours or for someone else.  There are endless possibilities to fulfill this Challenge.

This St. Valentine's Day, even if you get jewelry or give large bouquets of flowers, take a step back and do something, even the littlest of somethings, to show that love is both a great sacrifice and a great gift.

 *************

I'm pleased to announce that Catholic Family Gifts has offered a copy of "A Continual Feast" one of my readers.
I've loved this book, mainly a cookbook with other little tidbits and quotes scattered throughout, since I received it as a gift for Christmas and was over the moon when offered a copy to my readers.


To enter this giveaway all you need to do is leave a comment (one comment per person, please) and tell me what you would do to fullfill my St. Valentine's Day challenge (one of the challenges or all three!)  The giveaway will be open until when we close the link-up and the winner will be announced the following day.

The sponsor of this giveaway provided me with a free copy of another book to review (review coming in a few days), but the opinions stated are mine and mine alone.  Apart from the book given I will receive no other compensation for supporting this business.

If you would like a business to support for an upcoming baptism, christening or would just like to expand your reading please consider supporting our friends @

Catholicfamilygifts.com




We are three Catholic bloggers who love to observe the liturgical year to deepen our families’ faith and build up the domestic church. We would love to hear about your family’s traditions during this season of Lent! Please join us in “redeeming the time” in this Year of Faith by sharing your posts. 

Some topics we would be excited to read about during the Lenten season are (but not limited to!):

Observing Lent through Food: Simple or Vegetarian Lenten Meals/Recipes and Traditions

Lenten traditions, crafts and activities

Reflections on the liturgical seasons

Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving

Teaching and Learning about the Christian Year with Children

St. Valentine's Day

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday)


This link up will be up until midnight on February 22nd.

We will highlight some of our favorite links on our blogs, FB, Twitter, and the Little HolyDays Pinboard.
This link up is a way in which we plan on exploring and deepening our Catholic faith, but we would really love to hear from bloggers of all denominations and practices.

We welcome you to share your own fasts, feasts, and celebrations that fall within this season.



As moderators of this link up, we will reserve the right to remove any offensive or off-topic posts as we see fit, in order to maintain a kind and positive atmosphere.

So, here’s what you do:

1. Click the linky below to add your post to the Little HolyDays link up.

2. Add the Little HolyDays Picture to your post, link back to one of the hosts and leave a comment telling us you're joining in so we can find you.


We can’t wait to read your posts and get inspired by your traditions!

13 comments:

  1. You're brilliant to suggest celebrating St. Valentina's Day -- which is what my dear Catholic mother had me write on my childhood valentine cards to my classmates.

    For your suggestions- 1. I'm inviting my sister to spend Presidents' Day weekend with me, and will be giving up my bed for her. 2. I sent heart felt messages to all of my family -- even aunts and uncles I don't speak with often as a surprise for V Day, and 3. In my brother and sister in law's card, my message quoted JPII's Love and Responsibility and William May's Marriage books...encouraging and hopefully strengthening their marriage. :-)

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  2. Well, my blog post that I "released" (not sure the proper word in the bloggin world) this morning is all about your 3rd challenge.

    We will also be teaching our kiddos traditions of loving on their family and friends in sweet, caring ways. We'll learn a little about St. Valentine, and then choose to tell one person why we love them and make a simple gift or piece of art for them.

    Oh, and this book is already on my wishlist, so I'd be super tickled pink if I won. =)

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  3. I am even more excited about St. Valentine's day this year because it is during Lent. St. Valentine was my Confirmation saint and I thought I was silly for choosing him because I was yerning to be loved back then in 7th grade for the wrong reasons. But I am so grateful now when I reflect on his life and love for the Church.
    This St. Valentine's day I would like to clean our bedroom and possibly put together a furniture piece so that my husband won't have to during his time at home after a stressful week. Thank you for your wonderful suggestions on how we can better show our love on this special day. God bless you!

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  4. This Valentine's Day we will be baking some bread for our neighbor. He is a wonderful man who is always helping us in little ways, but lives by himself. I'm sure Valentine's Day is a lonely time for him. I hope we can brighten his day a little.

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  5. Loved this post! Thank you for the great ideas. I'd also be grateful to win the giveaway!

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  6. I should start packing my husband's lunch for him everynight starting with Lent but especially in honor of St Valentine's Day.

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  7. Ooh, I like the idea of building up someone else's marriage! I'm going to see a friend that day, and I think I'll try to do something to that effect - perhaps point out something that her husband does well or just have a conversation about how lucky we are to have such good husbands!

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  8. Ooo, I've been wanting that book for ages! What a fun giveaway.

    And I love your idea. My husband and I are very affectionate but have never really celebrated Valentine's Day, we always skip it, haha. Maybe I'll strengthen our marriage by surprising him with some of the ideas from Sarah O's list. He wouldn't be expecting me to actually do something special on Valentines. This makes us sound horrible, haha. We love each other a lot, promise :)

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  9. Ack! I want that book!!

    My husband and I have never "done" Valentine's Day, so it made no difference to us. But I LOVE your challenge idea. I'll have to think about how I can build up someone else's marriage (awesome idea!), but to build up my own, I think I'll write out a list of reasons I'm glad to have my husband and give it to him. I'll think harder about the others!!

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  10. My husband and I have been talking about a lifestyle change that would fulfill two of your challenges:

    - Give Something Up For a Loved One
    - Do Something To Strengthen a Marriage

    We're committing to turning off our gadgets on Sundays. We've decided the TV can be allowed because we do love cuddling up to watch a movie together at the end of the weekend, but we're gonna put away the kindle, ipad, smart phones, and anything else that distracts us from each other.

    "A Continual Feast" looks like a lovely book! In my Italian Catholic family we always celebrate with food and I'd love to more closely link the liturgical year to my meal planning.

    Thanks for this great post! - Cara

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  11. We've never subscribed to the "fluff" of the commercial Valentine's traditions anyway, but this is a brilliant, brilliant idea to go with what we're undertaking for Lent anyway, which is doing more. I especially love the idea of doing things in secret for someone you love, so I'll definitely be looking for opportunities to put gas in my husband's car for him, find a way to pitch in for a co-worker and I love the idea of leaving surprise goodies for the neighbors May Day style. :) Thanks for the challenge! -Mary Susan

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  12. Molly, I love this idea. My husband and I talked it over last night, and he was excited to do something different this year. I'm planning to bake his favorite bread to have with dinner, and I love the idea of freshening up the bed with clean sheets. I think I'm also going to clean the bathroom so it will be sparkling and put some of his favorite soap with clean towels out to surprise him when he goes in to get ready for work. (Maybe I'll put the towels in the dryer first to warm them up!)

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  13. That book looks great. Just what I need as I'm menu planning right now. :)


    Give something up: the iPad tonight in order to snuggle with my hubby.
    Do something in secret: putting away all the laundry before he gets home from work. (I'm always tempted to leave it out so that he sees how hard I'm working. :))
    Do something to strengthen our marriage (and others): tonight I'll dedicate my prayer time to marriages everywhere.

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