Valentine’s Day? – 14th February
Celebrating Valentine’s Day is a great way to spread a little love and show the people in your life that you care.
Valentine’s Day started out as a Christian feast day to honour one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine. Today it is a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and love all over the world.
It’s also the biggest event on the calendar between Christmas and Easter, giving us all something to look forward to.
Valentine’s is celebrated by sending messages of love and affection to your special someone. It’s also a time for exchanging gifts and spending quality, romantic time with your significant other.
10 Valentine’s Gift Ideas
Every year we Brits spend millions of pounds on Valentine gifts, and this has been steadily increasing over the past few years. So, let’s look at some of the most popular gift choices and why.
- Valentine’s Cards – According to an article Valentine’s Day Spending Statistics 2022 by Finder.com and reports by Bobs Books, more than 52% of us will present our loved ones with a Valentine’s Day card, that’s over 25 million each year! Sending a card is a great way to express our feelings and we can add personalised messages and poems too.
- Chocolates – 48% are planning to gift chocolates and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are the most popular.
- Food – As well as chocolates, heart-shaped cakes, and other edibles are among the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. It is a symbolic, sweet, and thoughtful gift.
- Flowers – 34% of us believe that flowers the most romantic Valentine’s Day gift, favourites include roses, carnations, lilies, tulips and sunflowers.
- Romantic dinner – Whether it’s a home cooked meal with candlelight or dining out, a romantic dinner is still a popular choice for nearly 35% of couples.
- Clothing although less traditional than flowers or chocolates it’s still a popular choice.
- Gift vouchers are always a good option if you are short of ideas plus they can easily popped into your Valentine card.
- House plants are a great alternative for fresh flowers because they last a lot longer.
- Perfume is a great idea if you know what type of scent to buy.
- Jewellery comes with a wide price range, from watches to bracelets, necklaces or earrings – and is a popular choice for men.
The Food of Love
“It’s the brain’s dopamine system, which rewards us with feelings of pleasure.The dopamine system becomes active in people when they look at someone they love or a favourite food, so in our brains, at least, food really is connected to love and a sense of well-being.” How Did Our Brains Evolve To Equate Food With Love? NPR.org
Naturally, some foods are associated with love, like these favourites:
- Honey – Bees are a symbol of love because of the sweetness of honey and the bitterness of their sting.
- Strawberries – Strawberries are deep red in colour and shaped like hearts, making them the perfect fruit to celebrate love.
- Chocolate – “Chocolate has been considered aphrodisiac food since the time of Aztecs, say the Santa Barbara Chocolate company in their article entitled Why chocolate on valentines. “Chocolate is said to contain substance that inflames desire and make the beloved one more open to romance. In olden days, this resulted in the tradition in European royalty to give their lovers chocolates mixed with amber to stimulate their love”.
- French and Italian are among the most popular Valentine’s Day meals, after all they thought to be the languages of love!
If you are planning to cook for your loved one this Valentine’s Day, take a look at the 50 Best Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipes to Spark Romance from Country Living. And for dessert, I recommend my favourite squidgy pear chocolate pudding. I originally, found the recipe on the BBC Good Food website, you can download a copy here!
Whatever you are planning for Valentine’s Day, have fun and enjoy! Audrey