Valentine's Day - Traditions and Untraditional Gift Giving
As an official holiday celebrating love, Valentine’s Day, February 14th is most often symbolized with red roses, greeting cards and heart shaped boxes of chocolate candies. The tradition of flowers dates back to the 17th Century. Roses stood for strong feelings and were believed to be the favorite flower of Venus, the Goddess of Love. The first love greeting is thought to date back to 1415 but it was not until the 1800’s that the popularity of sending greetings by mail grew. Today it is estimated that 600 million cards will be exchanged. You can thank Spanish Explorers for bringing cocoa, and therefore chocolate, back to the Old World from the New World. Soon its popularity increased in Europe and became the candy of choice for the lover’s holiday.
Traditions are special but there is nothing wrong with breaking tradition or forming new ones. Why not try a few creative Valentine’s Day gifting ideas or activities? Spend the day with the one you love, be a tourist in your own town! Together you can explore things you never seem to take the time to visit. Take your love to new heights with a hot air balloon ride or recreate your first date right down to that awkward first phone call! Gifts of love don’t need to carry a large price tag. Write a “love letter” to tell them what they mean to you and why you love them. Letter writing is fast becoming a lost art but usually is still much appreciated by the receiver! Create a “Love Story Photo Album” filled with your favorite photos of your relationship, then visit an old-fashioned photo booth to create fun new memories with the one you love!
Don’t be afraid to get personal. Board game lover? Spell out a loving message in SCRABBLE letters and glue them to the inside backing of a picture frame. When the frame is reassembled you’ve got a love letter they can have out all year long.
History buff? Create a fun treasure hunt using clues that involve famous love stories throughout history.
Remember, love isn’t always romantic love. Spend some quality time with that old friend you don’t get to see as often as you would like or send them a card telling them how much you love having them in your life. Maybe even buy a pair of tickets to a future event you know they’d love attending. Send their ticket in the card and sign it with “It’s a date!”
This year, instead of heading directly to that card and candy aisle of the store, you know the one covered in pinks and reds and purples, try thinking outside of the candy box!