This Valentine's Day, be sure to encourage your spouse with thoughtful words and gifts that will express your gratitude and love for them; below is a list of gift ideas for him and for her, along with a brief history of the romantic holiday. While the historical origin of St. Valentine's Day has its roots in Christianity, the holiday has come to have little religious affiliation and largely focuses on romance and friendship.
The Roman Catholic Church commemorates martyrs throughout the ages whose names were variations of "Valentine" on February 14. The holiday celebrates the life of Valentinus, for instance - the Roman priest who was taken captive for ministering to persecuted Christians in Rome and who refused to renounce his Christian faith while in prison. Valentinus allegedly wore an amethyst ring with a cherub on it, which was an image associated with love in Roman culture. Legend has it that Roman soldiers would often see Valentinus' ring and request that he perform wedding ceremonies for them. The priest is also said to have healed the blind daughter of his jailer while in prison, and the jailer's family allegedly placed their faith in Christ afterward. He is said to have written the little girl a note just before his execution, signing it, "Your Valentine."
This Valentine's Day, school children will pass out "Valentines" to classmates and significant others will express their admiration for one another with gifts and romantic dates. The "experts" advise couples to get thoughtful and luxurious gifts for one another, rather than practical necessities (i.e. socks or gift cards to a restaurant).
Below is a list of gift and date ideas for him and for her, depending on relationship status and budget confinements:
Gourmet chocolate or chocolate covered strawberries
A bouquet of her favorite flowers
A romantic dinner for two on the patio or a picnic in the park
A hand-written note expressing your love and gratitude for her
Cooking lessons for two
An IOU for a new handbag, dress, or pair of shoes
A day at the Spa
Things related to his favorite hobby
A good book
A techno-gadget that he has been researching
Tickets to a concert he would love
A coupon good for him to pick out some tools
A weekend-getaway planned with the babysitter already scheduled