Don’t you just love Valentine’s Day? The intrigue of its history and the romance behind the meaning? Celebrating our partners as they are meant to be appreciated is such a powerful idea. To help make the day special, below are some great Valentines gifts and creative day ideas. Whether you have a partner or will be treating yourself, its all about love. After all, the first person you need to love is yourself.
History behind Valentine’s Day and gifts
The history behind Valentine’s Day is shrouded in mystery. This is a little frustrating for such a romantic event but gives the idea of the day even more allure. Was it named after the Valentine who defied Emperor Claudius II and married young couples? At that time, it had been decreed they could not marry as the Emperor wanted the young men for battle.
Or was it another Valentine who was imprisoned and fell in love with a young girl who visited him? Before he died, he had written her a letter and signed it ‘From your Valentine’ which is an expression that has lasted down the years.
Whichever legend is true, they all speak of honourable traits such as love, and justice so are worthwhile stories. Maybe we should stick with the enigma of not knowing which one was the namesake.
Valentine’s Day was set on 14th February to draw attention away from a Pagan holiday called Lupercalia, which was a fertility festival. The day was claimed by Pope Gelasius and named St Valentine’s Day in the fifth century. This made it part of Catholicism but now it is acknowledged by all, to celebrate love.
You could also celebrate White Valentines Day, which started in 1977 in Japan and is celebrated on 14th March. This is where men would reciprocate the gifts they were given on Valentines Day. The gifts were traditionally white marshmallows and chocolate but have now expanded to include all gifts. The custom is also that the man’s gift should be three times the value of the one they received on Valentine’s Day.
What to give my partner on Valentine’s Day?
Presents are commonly exchanged on Valentine’s Day to show affection. But as this idea was latched upon by our consumer society, the idea of what to give and how much to spend became more difficult. When choosing a gift, remember this is supposed to be a token and does not need to cost a lot. Below are a selection of great valentines gifts and creative day ideas.
1. Best chocolate gifts
The traditional gift for this day is chocolate. The food of lovers. For absolutely no effort, you could buy a box of chocolates when you are doing your weekly shop at the supermarket. Or, with a little more thought, you could surprise him or her with a great gift. Maybe choose a box neither of you have had before – a treat for you both.
If you are short of time, order from Amazon Prime with next day delivery. The selection is huge and delicious looking.
If you are looking for a vegan choice, try Booja Booja. They are independently owned and passionate about making delicious vegan treats. They don’t just have to be for your vegan friend.
At the top of the scale, you could always head to Fortnum and Mason’s. Of course, you can buy from their website but why do that when their department store is so lovely to walk around? Hold tightly onto your purse though, those gorgeous treats are not going to be cheap. But when you give it to your love, nicely wrapped and in a Fortnum and Mason’s bag, your gift will be all the more appreciated.
Staying in presents
A night in on Valentine’s Day can be just as romantic as one out. But if you are planning to do this, you do need to put a little effort into your present as it can help set the tone of your evening. Etsy is great with unique ideas that your partner will love. From a coupon book with date night ideas, to naughty games, your intimate evening will be liked by all. Your partner will appreciate your great valentines gifts and creative day ideas.
Most popular flowers for Valentines Day
A bouquet is a classic symbol of love. It covers three of the five senses, sight, touch, and smell. As it is not a long-lasting gift, it encourages us to appreciate the present while it is still with us and etch it into our memory. Lastly, it is a gift appreciated by all generations and will be admired by all. But which bouquet to buy?
Will it be pink roses that represent poetic love and admiration? Or purple orchids which are long lasting, blooming each spring. Maybe you’ll choose sunflowers to send to a family member to brighten their day or lilies that represent joy. Whatever you choose and whoever you are sending them to, you cannot go wrong with the gift of flowers.
2. A selection of presents
If you have chosen chocolates or flowers then decided you want to keep looking for something else as well then I have a selection for you. If you are looking for something a little different, then look no further than an ‘experience’. With hundreds to choose from, your partner will surely be impressed.
Another gift could be jewellery. A classic, appreciated by the majority. At Pandora, you’re sure to find something you could see your partner wearing and enjoying. At a budget to suit you.
3. Last minute gifts
Of course, not all of us plan ahead and this does not mean we care any less. There are lots of companies that will thankfully deliver last minute and save the day. Our lives are so busy struggling with our work/life balance that other areas of our lives can get pushed back. But your partner deserves the best. Get your last minute great Valentine’s gifts here for the woman in your life or here for the man in your life.
Commercializing Valentine’s Day
‘Written valentine’s’ date all the way back to 1400AD. The oldest remaining one is now kept in the British Library in London. Written by the Duke of Orleans to his wife when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. How romantic but also how sad.
The day became commercialized in the mid 1800’s in America with printed cards for sale celebrating the day. From that time, it became a huge business in many parts of the world. Great Valentine’s gifts now include cards, presents, meals out, and experiences. Many business’s make a profit from this commercialized day.
The connotation behind the day is beautiful at its best, a day to tell someone that you have romantic feelings towards them. A sweet way to put a special type of smile on the face of the person whom you care about. But at its worst, it can be cheesy and cringeworthy. Plan your great valentines gifts and creative day ideas to make it a special one.
Things to do on Valentine’s day
Appreciating your partner is one of the most important parts of this day. Life is busy, can be stressful and the people needing you pull your attention in many different ways. ‘Mum, did you do my packed lunch?’, ‘Is that report ready yet?’, ‘Sweetheart, do you know where my shirt is?’. So many demands, it can be easy to not have much time to concentrate on any one thing.
A relationship is like a delicate flower. In so much as the flower needs watering, so does the relationship need nurturing. Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to show your partner your appreciation and love of him/her. Once you have bought a great Valentine’s gift you can focus on planning creative day ideas.
Healthy Valentines meal
Do you know what your partners favourite meal is? If not, you could ask or surprise them. Either would work well as both shows you are thinking of them. If you have the room in your home, choose somewhere different to sit than you normally would to start setting the scene. Plan mood lighting – most of us have candles hanging around so utilize them. Instead of the TV, create a playlist on Spotify. Its a great app, easy to use and even has a free version.
Don’t forget to plan this part of your day ahead. To ensure you know how to cook the recipe, have a look online. BBC Good food is my favorite. How about 3 course meal ideas for Valentines day? Here, you can choose a simple starter that can be made in minutes. The desert can always be made the day before. You do not want to be flustered on the day/evening. After all, this is for both of you to enjoy.
Don’t forget to change!
Make sure you have enough time for a shower and clothes change. Your partner sees you every day, in your work clothes and sweatpants. Whatever your plans are for Valentines day, make sure you dress up for it. It won’t just be for you, your partner will appreciate it too.
For those last minute planners who have not really thought through dinner, head over to one of these sites for inspiration and food box deliveries. Reading through the selection on these sites will make your mouth water.
Book an activity for Valentines day
This is the time to think outside of Netflix. It’s a great way to break up your routine. Why not go away for a night or two? Book a romantic cottage in the UK for two or head for a European city escape. But if you can’t stretch to a short break, there is plenty to choose from. Ranging from adrenalin experiences, to spa days to cocktail making, the choice is yours.
Now you have wowed your partner with your outfit, dinner and choice of activity, its time for the climax. Get it???
To get the mood right from the beginning, you could start with flirty messages throughout the day. This builds excitement and anticipation. Whether you decide on games, a sensual massage, some pampering or getting straight down to it, the build up is often half the fun.
Reminding your partner that you are a sexual and sensual person is important and can so often be forgotten in the humdrum of everyday life. When we first meet someone, chemistry is a very important part and should never be ignored as the relationship progresses. Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to remind your partner of your needs and to take care of his. Hopefully this day will set the scene for the months to come. If you need a little inspiration, here are some adult game ideas.
You don’t need him
Now you have a selection of presents and ideas on how to make your day unfurl with your partner, I want to remind you to also love yourself. It is important to remember who we are and what we mean to others. If you are buying a present for someone, include one for yourself. Or choose your favorite food, join a friend for a day of fun and have just as good a time as you would do with a partner. Our great valentines gifts and creative day ideas can be for both a couple or for you. Remember that before we can successfully love another, we must first of all love ourselves.