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  • Fraser Metcalf

The Ultimate Valentine's Day Gift: Give someone what they love

 You may be surprised to know – I was – that Valentine’s Day isn’t just an invention of the greeting cards companies. Although you can’t blame them for making the most of it. In fact, the earliest mention of Valentine's Day as a day of love can be traced back to Chaucer's poem "The Parliament of Fowls" in 1380 and the first recorded Valentine's Day card in 1415 was sent by the Duke of Orléans from the confines of the Tower of London. Well, he could hardly book a restaurant.


But the celebration of love goes back further to the 3rd century when Father Valentine defied Emperor Claudius II and married soldiers against the order of the emperor who believed  that marriage hindered soldiers on the battlefield. Actually, we can even go back further still to the pre-Roman fertility ritual of Lupercalia – where men fought stripped naked, sacrificed goats and ritually whipped young maidens to promote fertility. So, we have made some progress


It really is the thought that counts

Today, the perennial problem is finding the right gift for your loved one. For me and Mrs Fizzy, Valentine’s and birthdays are often accompanied by the ritual exchange of receipts so we can go and get something we really want. But it doesn’t have to be that way.


It strikes me that where we’re going wrong is with the whole romance thing. Fair enough buying flowers and booking a table in a romantic restaurant along with everyone else is a lovely thought. And there’s the thing, and forgive me for trotting out a hackneyed phrase, it’s the thought that counts.


Really taking the time to think about what your partner is into and would appreciate can work wonders rather trawling the net for all the special heart laden Valentine’s day presents and promotions.  Just think, findings from a YouGov poll reveal that, aside from the classic card, chocolates and flowers top the list as the most popular Valentine's Day gifts, comprising 20% and 10% respectively.


Think outside the box

So, do something different. Think of something a little left field. Mrs Fizzy is partial to a margarita so one year when I actually got the present buying right, I purchased a complete cocktail making kit and now mix up margaritas at home… and every time I make one, it reminds us of Valentines.


As most people know, even my other half I think, I like pubs, love a beer and enjoy travelling. That makes it a great shame that I wrote "How to Order a Beer in Any Country in the World" as it would make a perfect present for me. I mean what could be better for a beer lover than a book that literally goes through every country in the world and tells you what their favourite beer is and how to order it. Unfortunately I have a boxful cluttering up the shed already. 


So, this Valentine’s day, put a little thought into the person you’re buying for. The key to romance is understanding what makes someone tick, not following the herd.  So, do some investigation. And, don’t be like me when the kids or Mrs Fizzy asks what I want for Christmas, Birthdays and Valentines and I have to resort to the stock Miss World answer of ‘World Peace’, or the slightly more acerbic “you can’t afford anything I really want’.


Whatever you do, don’t be like the 20% of individuals that defy the commercialism of Valentine’s day and don’t buy anything at all. Trust me, when your partner says they don’t want anything, don’t take them at their word.


Happy Valentine’s!

Best Valentines Gift
Best Valentines Gift



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