If you haven't already, now is a good time to start thinking about Valentines Day. The clock is counting down quickly. So book that table, buy some flowers, buy a card (write something meaningful inside it) and get them a gift to remember.
In the ongoing saga of organising my own Valentines Day, I can proudly say that everything has been taken care of. But that's only because I totally screwed it up last year!
You may recall that I burnt the dinner and made it up to my girlfriend with a a West End Theatre & Two Course Dinner For Two? That was a costly mistake to say the least. And while I may have redeemed myself with a fantastic night out, Valentines Day still tends to be quite a time sensitive thing.
But thankfully, this year Valentines Day falls on a Friday. So that gives you a whole weekend to plan stuff around! Although you really should exchange cards and gifts on Friday evening without fail.
Not Sure Where To Start?
The toughest part is picking a gift that goes beyond the standard flowers, card and box of chocolates.
I booked a table at a swanky restuarant, bought a card (then spent ages looking up poetry online to help me write something meaningful inside), some flowers and a meaningful keepsake for her.
For anyone stuck on poetry, "Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by Yeats is particularly good. Especially if you're a bit skint!
If you're still wondering what to get as a gift, here are a number of suggestions if you're still stuck for Valentines Day ideas.
But for some reason it's men who are apparently the difficult ones to buy for...
What Do You Buy The Man Who Has Everything? As the saying goes, "Girls grow into women, while boys grow into bigger boys" and it's completely true. This is why I find it baffling (possibly because I am a man) that men should be difficult to buy for. Truly, if you bought your boyfriend a Transformer or a box of Lego he would be over the moon! But we have to be adult about this and have proper grow up gifts.
That said, the list of Valentines day gifts for men weren't very grown up, with things like steam trains, paintball and curry among the 'most searched for' things to do for men.
Corporate comercial consumerism aside, Valentine's Day is the feast day of Saint Valentine, a widely recognised third-century Roman saint associated since the High Middle Ages with a tradition of courtly love.
Although many of the current legends that characterise Saint Valentine were invented in the fourteenth century in England by Geoffrey Chaucer and his circle, when the feast day of February 14 first became associated with romantic love.
During the middle ages it was also believed that birds paired couples in mid-February, which is why we see so many birds (turtle doves in particular) on our Valentines Day cards. Bet you didn't know that!
But it's easy to forget that we're meant to be celebrating something on February 14th and not just buying token gifts because it's expected of us. So if you do truly cherish someone, make sure that you do genuinely show how much you love them.
Meanwhile, if you need a little help in finding something meaningful for someone special, our Valentines day gifts section is now open.