The Real Valentine Never Ate Chocolates

by Elizabeth Snouffer on 02/14/2012

St. Valentine declared his love for a Roman girl with a love letter

Attention all sugar-free friends – chocolate and candy-hearts were never a part of Valentine’s Day until the 19th century.

The history of Valentine’s Day has absolutely zero to do with chocolate – a cool fact to share with kids.  Today’s observed day of romance and love is based on a pagan festival of fertility, and a mythologized Saint, named Valentine.  (For more on this, see History Channel).

The Catholic Church has at least three St. Valentine’s myths up it’s pontifical sleeve, and I have a favorite.   One story tells of a young man who did all things heroic including standing up for the rights of fellow citizens of Rome and for this, he was imprisoned. During his confinement he fell in love with the jailor’s daughter, sending her a love letter just before his death with the words…

In the 5th Century, the Church declared February 14th St Valentine’s Day, but it wasn’t until the 1400’s that people began exchanging love letters for the occasion.  Today, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, and there’s something else I find entertainingly funny – women purchase approximately 85 percent of all those Valentines!

Why Chocolate?

In 1861, Richard Cadbury (Cadbury Chocolates) created the first ever heart-shaped box for Valentine’s Day and his brilliant marketing maneuver created a tradition that still lives today.  A-ha!  It’s all a marketing gimmick.

For the one you love with diabetes – skip the chocolates

I say skip the chocolates and be a real romantic!  Have a calligrapher make a specialized card or write a love letter.  If a card just won’t do, here are some shimmery gifts for your loved one.  All of the designers or retailers below currently donate or have a program where a portion of the proceeds are donated to diabetes awareness and research. In addition, many designers donate jewelry for auction at diabetes benefits all around the world. Below are a just a few who have donated their creations on behalf of diabetes awareness and research.  Since they have shown support for diabetes – let’s make sure when we need to buy that special romantic gift – we choose their beautiful designs.

Love this - unisex and for all ages

Free to be bracelets – Catherine M. Zadeh

Judith Ripka

A bit more up-market and obviously edgy - the Solange Dragon (Chinese Zodiac)


Links of London (Cufflinks for that special man)

Elyse Ryan

Alecia Wesner

For younger Valentines

Rachel’s Cure by Design

For the teen (or tween) in your life.  When Rachel Tobin was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 12, she began to design bracelets and decided to donate a portion of her sales to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).  So far, Rachel has donated $42,000 to JDRF.  Congratulations Rachel!  We love your charms of HOPE!

Glam medical ID Bracelets

Rachel's Cure by Design

Lauren’s Hope

Lauren’s Hope makes stylish medical ID alert bracelets.  Who is Lauren?  Lauren is a young woman with diabetes who hated wearing medical alert bracelets. Lauren’s mom had the jewelry team design a bracelet for her daughter which became the name of the operation today – Lauren’s Hope.  To date, Lauren’s Hope has donated over $100,000 to JDRF.

Fabulous Jewels for resale

Jewels for Hope

This Denver based organization asks those involved with the charity and others to donate a piece of gold or silver to help save the real jewels… our “Children with Diabetes.”  Based in Denver, and active with other US based benefits.  For more information contact

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Alecia February 15, 2012 at 05:45

Thank you! Happy Valentine’s Day! xo Alecia Wesner

Alecia February 15, 2012 at 05:58

Happy Valentine’s Day! Thank you so very much for linking my jewelry with this wonderful article. I am honored. My parent’s raised me with the idea that I was a child first and a diabetic second. Now, at 32+ years as a Type 1 diabetic, I am a lot of things…. a designer, a business owner, a doggie mommy, and yes, a diabetic. Using my designs to support diabetes research is incredibly important to me and I truly can not thank my customers, friends, family, and fantastic publicity (like this article), enough. Thank you for a terrific Valentine’s Day surprise! xoxox Alecia Wesner

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