The History of Valentine’s Day Plus 14 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Love

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The History of Valentine’s Day Plus 14 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Love

will you be my valentine

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

valentine day history

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

valentine day

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

valentine gifts for everyone

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!

gifts for your honey

For Your Hubby

and gifts 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

valentine gifts for adult kids

For Your Grandkids

valentine gifts for kids

For Your BFFs

valentine gift ideas
  • 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!

Beautiful Jewelry from Shopping with Gigi. Click on this link and scroll down to find several pieces just perfect for Valentine’s Day. Limited Stock.

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!

Thanks so much for reading this and for being here. I would be so appreciative if you would share this post, my site, and my boutique with friends. So take a quick sec and email this link. And sign up yourself if you haven’t already! (Maybe someone emailed you this post!) It Just takes your email address, and you’re in!

Oh, and don’t forget, if you purchase something from this post, I may earn enough to one day buy a cup of coffee (tall) from Starbucks!
All rights reserved.

Let’s Get Social! I’m friendly!

Find me on Pinterest (I would love for you to pin some of the pics), InstagramFacebook, TwitterTikTok & YouTube. Besides those social media channels, you can also follow me on LinkedIn.

And you can shop for my favorite looks & products on Like.to.Know.it and Shopping with Gigi! If you don’t have the Like.to.Know.it app, Shop My Instagram instead!

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  • Reply
    jodie filogomo
    January 23, 2022 at 10:58 pm

    The best for myself?? LOL, why of course. I love that you are so happy because it cooled down there Gwen. I’ve been trying to wear all my “winter” things because I know it’s warming up here soon!!
    And I loved reading this. It’s also our anniversary on Valentine’s day, so we always joke that everyone is celebrating with us, haha.

  • Reply
    Nancy Weiss
    January 24, 2022 at 8:25 am

    Hi Gwen,

    These are all great gift ideas and thanks for sharing the information on the background about Valentines Day. Its interesting to learn how it all started.


  • Reply
    Jessica A Jannenga
    January 24, 2022 at 10:57 am

    Hi Gwen
    I always enjoy reading about the history behind things I like the Shakespeare – Chaucer explanation. At least that is a bit more romantic! Love the gifts you selected, those roses are beautiful and wonderful they last up to a year! My hubby would enjoy the whiskey glass/box ( bourbon).
    Have a great week!
    jess xx

    • Reply
      Gwen Gottlieb
      January 28, 2022 at 2:50 pm

      Thanks so much for reading, Jess! My husband would also love the whiskey/glass box set! Have a fabulous weekend! xoxo gwen

  • Reply
    Rosemary Davis
    January 24, 2022 at 11:19 am

    Hi Gwen,

    I am loving all these great gift ideas! Yes, Valentines Day does not belong to lovers only. It’s great to give gifts to all those special people in our lives ❣️


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    Stacie Hamilton
    January 25, 2022 at 9:03 am

    Great post, but I just truly LOVE your sense of humor Gwen!!

  • Reply
    February 12, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    You are a world of knowledge! I loved the Valentine’s Day historical ditties Just when we think we know almost everything. Your stuff is great. Where can we get the snoring mug? That’s a must. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and hubby. ❤️

    • Reply
      Gwen Gottlieb
      February 12, 2022 at 5:41 pm

      LOL thank you for reading!! You click the link that’s highlighted for the mug. xoxo

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