Every February, we send flowers, love notes, and gifts to our spouses, partners, or crushes. But what’s so special about February 14th? How did this day become what we all know as St. Valentine’s Day? It’s funny you should ask because I’m going to tell you all about it! And not just that! I’m sharing some fab gift ideas, so, without further ado… The History of Valentine’s Day Plus 14 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Love.
The Not-So-Romantic History of Valentine’s Day
The history of Valentine’s Day is a bit of a mystery (historians are still arguing about it). One thing we do know is that it’s associated with St. Valentine. Who is St. Valentine? That is another mystery, but historians believe the legend combines two men.
In fact, there were actually two Valentines executed on February 14 (not the same year), both by Emperor Claudius II.
- According to one legend, Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men because he believed single men were better soldiers. However, Valentine, a priest, defied the orders and continued to marry young couples in secret. Eventually, Valentine’s actions were discovered, and he was sentenced to death.
- Others believe it was St. Valentine of Terni who is the true namesake of the holiday. He was martyred on February 14, 269 AD, for ministering to persecuted Christians.
Another legend says that Valentine, a man imprisoned for helping Christians escape Roman prisons, sent the first-ever valentine to a young woman he fell in love with during his imprisonment. He allegedly signed the letter “From your Valentine.”
Some believe that the Catholic Church used St. Valentine’s Day to replace Lupercalia, a pagan fertility festival celebrated by the Romans on February 15.
Others say it was a combination of Shakespeare and poet Geoffrey Chaucer who started our modern Valentine’s Day traditions. February 14 marked the beginning of bird mating season in England and France in the Middle Ages. Poet Chaucer marked the date as a day of romantic celebration in his poem “Parliament of Foules.”
Shakespeare, of course, mentions St. Valentine’s Day in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet.
Written valentines didn’t show up until after 1400. In 1415, the Duke of Orleans wrote a poem to his wife for Valentine’s Day while imprisoned at the Tower of London. Another valentine note – the oldest in existence, was written in 1477 by a woman to her fiance. According to ideas.hallmark.com, Esther Howland of Worcester, Mass., published the first American valentine in 1849. And Hallmark offered its first Valentine’s Day cards in 1913.
Cool stuff, right? But I’m guessing you’ve had enough of a history lesson, so let’s move on!
Not Just for Romance
We still celebrate Valentine’s Day today, but this day of love has evolved over the years. Sure, we celebrate romantic love, but we also celebrate the friends and family members we love.
It’s not just about romance.
Sending cards and thoughtful gifts to our parents, children, grandchildren, and closest friends is another way to show we care.
Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for All of Your Loved Ones
Need something special for the favorite people in your life? While I put these gifts in categories, truth is, they are terrific for just about everyone – except your pets. I should have included a gift for them, too, but, hey, it’s an excellent idea for another blog post!
I do think there’s something here for everyone. So, here are 14 Valentine’s Day gift ideas that are bound to make someone smile.
For Your Honey – Whomever That Might Be!
- Valentine’s Day Mugs: This There’s No One I’d Rather Have Snoring Loud As Fck Next To Me will make your honey laugh, or keep it simple with a colorful hearts mug.
- Romantic Messages in a Bottle: Give a daily dose of love with these 50 colorful capsules containing sweet pre-written messages.
- CozyChic Robe: A comfy, cushy unisex robe for those cozy nights at home.
For Your Hubby
- Whiskey Glass Set: Everything he needs to enjoy his fave whiskey, including a beautiful wooden box with a romantic message.
- Ugg Slippers: Not a drinker? He’ll love these plush, comfy slippers featuring genuine shearling and suede.
- Tom Ford Lost Cherry: A unisex, spicy Eau de Parfum with notes of black cherry, almond, and tonka bean.
For Your ‘Adult’ Kids
- Nadri Cluster Heart Necklace: A beautiful gift for your daughter featuring an 18K gold plated pendant with cubic zirconia.
- Cashmere V-neck Sweater: Perfect for a son or your hubby and available in 13 handsome colors.
For Your Grandkids
- Melissa and Doug Create Your Own Heart Box: A fun kit for older grandkids that includes glue (regular and glitter), gems, paint, brushes, and a wooden box.
- Mochi Valentine’s Day Toys: A 30-pack of adorable mochi squishy toys with sweet Valentine’s Day greetings.
- Cookie Monster Plus: Perfect for the little ones. Pair it with a box of healthy cookies!
For Your BFFs
- Santal 26 Candle: A 100% soy wax candle with notes of vanilla, amber, cedar, cocoa, musk, sandalwood, and spices.
- Eternal Roses: 12 beautiful, fresh roses that have been specially preserved to last up to a year or more.
And Saving the Best for Last: For Yourself!
And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed learning a little about the history of Valentine’s Day. And please, check out some of the gift ideas I’ve linked. You may find something that you think will be perfect for someone in your life. And of course, you might also find a little something in my boutique!
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