Today is Valentine’s Day which is a holiday celebrated by many and hated by others and also one whose origin is hard to determine.  Some historians insist it goes back hundreds of years and one account is that a Roman Emperor believing single men made better soldiers would not allow them to marry.  However in secret St. Valentine would perform marriages…he was caught and executed on February 14th.  Other accounts are very different.

Regardless of its origin Valentine’s Day is a big deal and certainly more so this year that last when many were still afraid to leave their homes during the pandemic.  Hallmark reports that some 145 million greeting cards will be exchanged and more than 200 million roses are produced with red as you would expect the most popular color.  Another favorite gift is chocolate, the traditional heart-shaped Valentine’s Day box was first introduced by Richard Cadbury in 1868 and still accounts for a large percentage of candy sales.  Dinner at a nice restaurant is very popular and I’m sure many celebrated over the weekend…we did at Chef Mike’s ABG and as always it was very good.

Since the day and love go hand-in-hand it’s no surprise that today will be a big day for asking someone’s hand in marriage.  It is the #1 day for proposals which is good news for diamond retailers and jewelry stores.

I really don’t know how the holiday started but I do know this.  There will be guys in drug stores and convenience stores trying to find a card or gift at the last minute today because they forgot.  They may find slim pickings and if they come up empty then they’ll come home to a modern version of the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre…and that will not be pretty.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

KEEP READING: Here are the most popular baby names in every state

Using March 2019 data from the Social Security Administration, Stacker compiled a list of the most popular names in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C., according to their 2018 SSA rankings. The top five boy names and top five girl names are listed for each state, as well as the number of babies born in 2018 with that name. Historically common names like Michael only made the top five in three states, while the less common name Harper ranks in the top five for 22 states.

Curious what names are trending in your home state? Keep reading to see if your name made the top five -- or to find inspiration for naming your baby.