Valentine’s Day: Love Affair or Gift Affair?


It’s that time of year again……for Football…..sorry I mean for Valentine’s. Friday February 14, 2014 is celebrated as Valentine’s Day and the lovers or wanna-be-lovers will be crawling out of every hole there is, either giving or accepting gifts. But is this day still reserved for lovers or has it become a commercial event (though not a holiday) just like Christmas, Easter and all the other calendar of holidays and events that happen yearly?

Let’s first examine the meaning behind this lovers day.

A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell but the celebration of Saint Valentine did not have any romantic connotations until Chaucer‘s poetry about “Valentines” in the 14th century and later by William Shakespeare in “Hamlet”. It was made into a commercial activity by the late 18th century in England when lovers started exchanging ‘gifts’ such as flowers, confectionery and sending greeting cards.

So, by the time the 21st century came around it was all about what one lover will give to the next for that day.  I must admit that when I was young and stupid I got bit by the Valentine Bug once or twice. Now that I’m old and wise I know to purchase my own Cadbury’s or Ferrero Roche Chocolate.

Love is a beautiful thing and should rightfully be celebrated every single day as long as there is that special someone to celebrate it with. It gets annoying and frustrating, especially in this economy, when one partner keeps looking for a gift every February 14th from the other and if that gift is not forthcoming  then there is malice between the two for the rest of the month or maybe longer. Now I’m not saying that gifts should not be given but if you are strapped for cash then you would not want to put yourself in a position where you purchase a gift and tomorrow there is no breakfast or dinner or your child wont have money for lunch at school.

A simple breakfast (in bed if you want to push the envelope a little) can get the day off to a great start. Little love notes, though cliche, could heighten the senses in anticipation for a romantic night at home. Light up those scented candles that you’ve been storing, take a sensual bath, both of you, then have a glass of wine. You’ll be surprised how the night could end. The three simple words ‘I Love You’ can go a far way when said at the right moment, in the right place. So before you whip out that credit card at the chocolate store or the appliance store remember ‘home is where the heart is’.

Happy Valentine’s all you lovers. I’m off to making my own chocolate………:-)

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