Who was St Valentine?

valentines dayEvery year we show our nearest and dearest how much they mean to us but why do we do this? Don’t get me wrong it’s great to receive a dozen red roses on the 14th of February (and a box of chocolates!) but have you ever wondered where it all started?

Apparently the saint himself is a bit of a mystery. Early stories suggest Valentine wasn’t the god of love or a gigolo but merely a Roman priest in the third century. The ruling emperor of that era decided that men without wives and children made the best soldiers, so he outlawed marriage for young men, this upset Valentine greatly and he continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. Unfortunately his actions were discovered and Emperor Claudius II ordered Valentine to be sentenced to death.

Whilst imprisoned he fell in love with a young girl, rumour has it that this was a jailers daughter who visited him whilst he was incarcerated and just before his death he wrote her a farewell letter signed ‘From your Valentine’ and so the first ‘valentine’ greeting was sent.

The UK now sends over 1 billion valentines cards every year, with women purchasing approximately 85% of all cards. With retail sales of around £978m the commercial side of Valentines day has rapidly increased over the last three centuries making it the second most commercially celebrated day after Christmas.

But how do you go the extra mile and show your other half the meaning of true love? With the personal touch of course!

Why not print off your favourite photo and place it in a simple frame, or simply say it in words with one of our romantic wall plaques.

All in all, if you’re not sure what to give your significant other this year, just make sure you reach out and give them a great big hug on the 14th February and show them you care, although if you want your day to run smoothly I seriously suggest you take a peek at our gifts for Valentines!

Happy Valentines x