I both love and loath aspects of Valentine’s Day. I love the intrigue of its history, dislike the commercialism and then again love the romance behind the meaning. We need to celebrate our partners as they are meant to be appreciated. Here are ideas of great Valentine’s gifts for your partner, suggestions of how it is possible to show love during the coronavirus lockdown, creative day ideas for Valentine’s Day itself and also the belief that it’s a good idea to treat yourself if it’s a ‘Valentine’s for one’. After all, the first person you need to love is yourself…..
Do you have a special valentine this year?
Someone you cherish romantically and want to show your appreciation of?
History behind Valentine’s Day and gifts
The history behind who Valentine’s day is named after is shrouded in mystery. Which is a little frustrating for such a romantic event but gives the idea even more allure.
Was it the Valentine who defied Emperor Claudius II and married young couples? It had been decreed they could not marry as they 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 honorable traits such as love and justice so are worthwhile stories. I like them both. Maybe we should stick with the enigma of not knowing which one was the namesake.
Valentine’s Day occurs on 14th February. It was set on this day in order to draw attention away form 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.
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, he was currently 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 has become a huge business in many parts of the world. Great Valentine’s gifts now include cards, presents, meals out, and experiences are part of creative day ideas. Many business’s make a profit from this commercialized day.
The first Valentine’s card I received was when I was 13. It made me blush and also put butterflies in my stomach. That lovely moment, full of teenage emotions, awkwardness and shyness also gave me a warm feeling, joy that a boy had thought me pretty and thought long enough to buy me a card and write a lovely note. My first experience with romance.
Since then, this day has had good and bad memories for me. There have not been many years without a card but there have been bad dates, crowded restaurants, even a breakup! The connotation behind the day is beautiful at its best, a day to tell someone who does not know 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.
Lockdown Valentine gift options along with day ideas
In 2021, we are having a coronavirus valentine worldwide. In the UK, we are in a total lockdown. Instead of booking an expensive yet crowded restaurant or visiting a bar where there are dozens of couples doing the same thing, we now have to go ‘old skool’ and think outside of the box.
My valentine is a long way from me, in Colombia. We are currently in a long-distance relationship. You can read all about that here. On the one hand, it sucks but it also gives me more of a chance to work on the communication part of our relationship and to take care that the romance is still there. I like to send him letters and packages, with presents in them that let him know I am thinking of him, know what he likes and care for him. And what says that more than great Valentine’s gifts? It also gives me time to plan creative day ideas.
What to give my girlfriend /boyfriend on Valentine’s Day?
1. Best chocolate gifts
The traditional gift for this day is chocolate. The food of lovers. Can you get any more romantic? For absolutely no effort, you could buy some when you are doing your weekly shop at the supermarket. Or, you could use Amazon to peruse their selection. But why not let someone else do the work for you and pick from the best selection in 2021. I would choose one that neither of you have tried before – a treat for both of you.
2. A selection of presents
If you have chosen some yummy chocolates and decided you want to keep looking for something else as well but can’t quite decide what, then I have brought help! Knowing your partner is important here so I’ve included a selection of websites for you to browse and make your selection. Valentine’s presents for him and her!
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 minds are so preoccupied at the moment with homeschooling, worries with work and mental health. I know that sometimes other areas of my life get pushed to the back. Your partner does deserve the best Go here for ideas of last minute great Valentine’s gifts, then focus on creative day ideas!
Things to do on Valentine’s day
Appreciate your partner
Appreciating your partner is one of the most important acts you can perform on 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.
Cook a special meal
Most of us have staple dinners that we regularly have. Then we also have our favorites. Do you know what your partners is? One idea would be to ask what they would like or you could 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 a couple of courses? 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 so act like you are going out. I did that in the first lockdown as I was fed up with everything being closed. It made me happy, put a smile on my partner’s face and we had a good evening.
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. Having read through the selection on these sites, my mouth is actually watering and its only 10am as I write this! So I would highly recommend checking these out. Then let me know how it worked out.
Write a lockdown love note
Yes, I know, you have already got a card to give to your partner. Although cards are lovely, they will be expecting that. So why not also write a note? This could be a chance to get your crafting head on, although if you are anything like me it will be more like borrow your sons nice drawing paper, use his gel pens, stick on some glitter and hey presto! At least its colorful and full of effort.
Pinterest is full of great ideas if you search under valentine crafts for adults. There’s lots of ideas to also get your child involved in. It’s important for children to see that you care about their other parent and are making an effort to show them that. This is yet another way children learn how to express their emotions and help their positive mental health grow.
Book an activity
I know, don’t scratch your head. Everything is closed, at least in the UK. But lets not be one of those people who are JUST going for walks and watching Netflix. Lets think outside of the box (TV, box…. Get it ?)….
Whether you take part in one of these activities for Valentines or later on to surprise your partner, its a great way to break up the routine. To show off your cultured side and also to travel without actually getting on a plane, book a virtual tour of the world’s museums and art galleries. This would be my kind of activity.
Once you’re done being cultured, head over here, and have yourself a cocktail evening. Run by professionals, you and your partner can join a small group, learn how to make a couple of cocktails, chat to people who don’t live with you !!!! and have a drink.
Comedy night in
If you two have really had enough of talking to each other about work, coronavirus and the kids, book yourself a comedy night. Watching from the comfort of your sofa, you can snuggle up together.
Sexy ideas for Valentine’s Day
So now you have wowed your partner with your outfit, dinner and choice of activity, its now time for the climax. Get it???
To get the mood going 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, isn’t chemistry important? It is a very important part of a relationship and should never be ignored. And Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to remind your partner of your needs and to take care of his. Then hopefully this day will set the scene for the months to come. If you need a little inspiration, visit here for game ideas.
Who needs a Valentine?
Now we have seen a selection of ideas on presents and how to make your day unfurl with your partner, I want to remind you to also love yourself. If you have a partner or not, make this day also about you. In this pandemic, 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. By yourself on Valentine’s Day? No worries, this just means you get to choose your favorite food, join a friend online for a cocktail evening and have just as good a time as you would do with a partner. Before we can successfully love another, we must first of all love ourselves.
Most of all, have a happy Valentine’s Day