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Spread love today and every day

It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air and all around us.

Seriously, there is no way you can miss this holiday as reminders are everywhere. Offices, classrooms and homes are decorated with pink and red hearts and flowers and stores are touting an assortment of gifts to shower the ones you love with tokens of your affection.

Valentine’s Day is big business for retailers. The Retail Association of Nevada estimates that people in the Silver State will spend more than $196 million on sweet treats, flowers, jewelry and pampering for their valentines this year.

Nationwide, adults will spent $20.7 billion, according to a National Retail Federation study. This includes gifts for family, loved ones, friends, co-workers and pets. That means a whole lot of little candy hearts or heart-shaped boxes of chocolates will be given as gifts.

And cards, lots and lots of cards. The Greeting Card Association estimates that 145 million Valentine’s Day cards will be given this year, ranking the holiday second only to Christmas.

Exchanging tokens of love dates back to the holiday’s earliest days. Part of this might be credited to the origins of the holiday.

One version has an imprisoned Saint Valentine writing a love letter — signed “from your Valentine” — to the daughter of his jailer, who visited him regularly. Today, many cards continue to be signed “from your Valentine.”

The holiday’s association with love also is part of the legend of Saint Valentine. One tale tells of the saint who performed secret marriages for young men after Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers and outlawed marriage for young men.

It doesn’t really matter how the holiday originated, those who believe in love relish a day devoted to celebrating relationships.

Conversely, it can be a day dreaded by those not in a relationship or whose relationship soured.

Count me firmly entrenched in the first camp. I love a good love story, and it doesn’t matter if it’s fact or fiction.

I’m a sucker for books that tell a romantic tale, especially those with ties to history.

I never miss an old-fashioned musical where boy meets girl, boy loses girl and boy gets girl in the end.

If there’s a movie or television show devoted to romance, I’m watching. My poor husband has had to sit through countless Hallmark movies — year-round because I stockpile them for when nothing else is on or I need an escape from reality. And in this profession that can be very often.

As much as I love love and the idea of love, and will join the thousands of others getting something special for my sweetheart, I believe that it shouldn’t be shared on just one day of the year. Letting the ones you love know how much you care should be an everyday thing.

No one has a crystal ball for the future and you don’t want to regret not sharing your true feelings.

The happiest relationships I’ve been privileged to learn about have one thing in common — those who let their significant others know how much they are loved.

Wishing you all a happy Valentine’s Day today and every day.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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