IT'S THE WEEKEND: Shopping for Valentine's Day

South Wales Argus: (3739428) (3739428)

ST VALENTINE'S Day.

Amidst the inflatable heart balloons, chocolates and special dinners, people tend to forget the day has its roots in religion, and is actually named after a couple of early Christian martyrs, several of whom were named Valentine.

The two Valentines honoured on February 14 are believed to be Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni.

Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred around AD 496 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. Valentine of Terni became a bishop and was martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian.

As so often in history, from bloody beginnings came one of most popular events of the year which is celebrated across the world.

From India to Finland to Japan, we all indulge in the giving and receiving of mass produced cards, petrol station flowers and questionable soft toys.

But done right, the most commercialised of celebrations, Valentine's Day can be the perfect opportunity to show your loved ones you care.

For this week's column we've handpicked some of the nicest gifts around, from the classic to the quirky, to make your special day run smoothly.

If money is tight, make the effort by doing sweet things for your husband/wife/civil partner/girlfriend/boyfriend/best friend and give them a shoulder massage.

Make them cups of tea on demand. Cook them their favourite dinner and run them a bath with lots of bubbles and lovely candles.

If you're willing to splash the cash, visit a fancy restaurant, go for a couples' spa day or stay in a nice hotel.

Whatever you chose to do, enjoy yourselves.

Valentine's Day gifts for the special person in your life:

1. Marks & Spencer Alice + Eliza Heart Gift Tin, £12.50

2. Dotcom gift shop Patchwork Vintage Love Cushion £9.95

3. Simply Be Anna Scholz Print Full Slip £36

4. Topshop Lips in Screen Siren £8

5. Marks & Spencer Autograph luxury double dozen red roses £60

6. Hotel Chocolat, From Sunrise to Sunset hamper £50

7. Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial Champagne Brut, £40.25 from Asda

8. Valentine's tea for two at the Celtic Manor, Newport. £26 each.

Show you care with this Valentine's Day soundtrack

1. Percy Sledge - When a man loves a woman

2. Whitney Houston - I will always love you

3. Aerosmith - I don't wanna miss a thing

4. Marvin Gaye - Let's get it on

5. Carpenters - Superstar (Sonic Youth version if you want it cooler)

6. Barry White - You're the first, my last, my everything

7. Roberta Flack - The first time ever I saw your face

8. Donna Summer - Love to love you baby

9. Etta James - At last

10. Beyonce - Crazy in love

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