Valentine’s Day is a day for romance. Traditionally a day when we hope to receive cards, flowers and maybe a gift from those that we love or admire. Cards are usually given anonymously. It’s great fun to try and disguise your token of appreciation and maddening trying to work out who the sender of your’s is. It is always a thrill to receive a Valentine from someone we have feelings for, particularly if it is a new potential relationship.
The story goes that in the 3rd century St Valentine married a couple in secret at a time when it was banned by Emporer Cladius 11. For this he was sentenced to death and while in prison he fell in love with the jailer’s blind daughter (allegedly the power of his love restored her sight). Just before he died he sent her a message signed “from your Valentine”.
Gifts for your loved ones
Long-established symbols of love are hearts, red roses and kisses and traditional gifts of flowers, chocolates and perfume are given at Valentines. Heart shaped gifts or items decorated with Hearts are also popular. If you’ve been with your sweetheart for some time then you may be past flowers and chocolate and need inspiration for a more original gift. Heart shaped pottery or pottery decorated with hearts would be a long-lasting token. Your partner would think of you each morning as he or she sipped their morning tea from their Heart covered mug or serve a romantic breakfast in bed on Hearts pottery. You could fill a jug with flowers or add a personal message or their pet-name to a mug or teapot.
It is traditional to give your partners gifts for Valentine’s but it’s also a nice gesture to show your other loved ones how you feel about them on this special day. Secret cards to confuse your children (my grandfather always used to send me a card from whoever my love of the moment was be it David Cassidy or David Soul). Anonymous cards to friends, but with a clue that it might be from their best friend so that their hopes aren’t raised too much, nobody wants to be cruel.
I know we show our appreciation on Mother’s and Father’s Day but still, particularly if people are on their own, it’s nice to feel that you are loved – send flowers to your mum or an “I Love You” mug to your dad. They won’t expect it and will be thrilled to be thought of.
Restaurants are always packed on Valentine’s Day – full of little tables for two. Your favourite local never feels the same on this night. If you are determined to go out together for a romantic meal why not try something different. What about a picnic (I know it’s winter) but if it’s a bright, dry day nothing could be nicer. You could take hot chicken or sausages, flasks of soup and a bottle of red wine. Find a sheltered spot somewhere beautiful and tuck in. You can always drop into the local pub for something warming once you’ve had your lunch.
Whatever you do for Valentines Day do it with the ones you love.