The legend of Valentine’s day is fittingly as romantic as the day itself. A legend that goes back to the times of Roman Emperor, Claudius II who outlawed the marriage of young men under the belief that a single man made a better soldier. The ruling was a just a little harsh but a young priest named Valentine stood up to the ruling and secretly performed marriages.
After a while Valentine was caught breaking the law and was sentenced to death, a little less severe than the punishment for forgetting to get your loved a gift on Valentines day, and was sent to jail to await his fate. In prison, legend has it, that Valentine fell in love with the Jailers daughter who visited him frequently. On the night before his death Valentine sent the young lady a letter which he signed “from your Valentine”. Valentine was executed on 14th February 270 AD.
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Valentine stood up for the love of other men and expressed his own love in such a simple and pure manner that in 496 AD Pope Gelasius declared Valentine a Saint and made his day 14th February. The rest as they say in the classics… is history.
The romance of the legend of Valentine’s day lies in the simplicity, the fact a man cares for a woman and will even go so far as to defy the Emperor to show his love and marry her; a love so true that marriage is the gift. The beauty also lies in the simplicity of a humble letter that clearly came from the heart and with feeling. Today the modern Valentine ’s Day has lost some of this simplicity, and much of the meaning and the day has become commercialised and even a gimmick to point of being just another day.
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So what should a person do to say “I love you” on this auspicious day?
Love is found in the heart; love takes time to understand and requires knowing a person intimately to demonstrate. Even the gift that says “hello I am here” from the secret admirer takes some thought and it’s often the simplicity of something that makes it special.
Words mixed with feeling make a gift what it is, a ring or something precious says a lot and says even more through the manner in which it is given. For men to buy a gift and give it in a manner that is romantic is something that doesn’t come easily for many but it is not difficult. Married men find this more difficult that any other, but the fact is your wife wants to see how much you love her not how big your budget is and your wife wants to know you care – it’s not a secret but its something this material world hides. A small simple bar of candy that comes with a handwritten poem has more meaning than an entire truck load of chocolates and in some ways carries more value than a diamond ring could ever deliver. The time taken to do something by hand, to at least try and make it romantic is perhaps the most valuable part of the gift that makes it unique and real.
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This Valentine’s day you will be spoilt for choice of gift ideas and you will know what your significant other likes. It’s up to you to turn it from something that is liked to something that says “I love you”. A poem, a letter, an accompanying picnic, meal or event or even just a simple handpicked flower or ribbon can make all the difference. Remember Valentine was romantic and showed love through nothing but simplicity and kind actions; if you do the same no matter what gift you get this year it will be the best gift you have ever given because it comes from the heart with meaning.
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