The History of Valentines Day Gift Traditions

The History of Valentines Day Gift Traditions

A day to express love, Valentine’s Day is among the most important celebrations in many people’s lives. Almost anything can be given or sent as a gift on this day, with flowers and cards being the most popular ones. In the past, however, this event was not so commercial. It had its origins in ancient times when Valentine was admired for his bravery and pure heart.

It is believed that Valentine’s Day began in ancient Rome when Saint Valentine, a bishop, was sentenced to die for performing secret marriages for young lovers. He had fallen in love with one of his jailers' daughters. On the night before his execution, he is said to have written her a letter and signed it “From your Valentine.” When she revealed this, she appealed to Emperor Claudius II who then issued an order for his release. Soon the romantic story of St. Valentine and his love became known around the world and February 14th was adopted as the day so that everyone could celebrate their loved ones.

People from all over the world celebrate this special day of love, which gives rise to a prolific online shopping market.


Valentine's Day has become synonymous with the exchange of gifts, but little is known about the gift-giving traditions from which these customs evolved.


Roses and Flowers

Spending Valentine's Day without showing your loved ones any love is like eating without a big, juicy steak. However, you needn't go that far; we'll let you in on a secret: send flowers on Valentine’s Day. The original Valentine's Day flowers began as a tradition in the 17th century, since roses, which represent love in all its forms, were the flowers of choice for the Day. Because it symbolized strong feelings, the rose is said to be Venus's favorite flower. As a result, lovers began giving flowers to those they cared about to show their love for each other, which often knew no bounds.


Valentine’s Day Cards

For centuries, Valentine's Day cards have been used as a way to express love. However, this tradition began to take effect in 1415 when Charles the Duke of Orleans wrote a poem for his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London on Valentine's Day. Several religious leaders preached against cards on Valentine's Day by the 16th century. In the early 19th century, it became very popular for the average person to send Valentine’s Day cards by mail, so much so that 600 million cards were exchanged. Today, you can find almost anything online or at your local store ranging from chocolates and apparel to collectible action figures.


Chocolates For Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day is a time to celebrate lovers' affection for one another. In honor of St. Valentine's, chocolatiers all over the world celebrate Valentine's Day on February 14th and the tradition of exchanging romantic gifts, mostly sweets and flowers. Chocolate, originally from Mesoamerica, was valued by the Aztecs and Mayans as a drink consumed with chili peppers, almonds, and spices; an essential foodstuff that formed part of their diet and culture, being a status symbol. Spanish explorers discovered it during the age of exploration in the 16th century and brought it back to Europe.


Recordable Teddy Bears

Even though Valentine’s teddy is a common toy and often made with inexpensive, flimsy material, it is more and more being adopted as a luxury item. It is used less as a gift to ‘the girls at the office’ and more as gifts to children, grandchildren, and loved ones. Teddy bear makers are using more expensive materials and themes are becoming more personal such as wedding bears.

In the end, it doesn’t matter how you give Valentine’s teddy bear, but that you do so to express your love in some way. Perhaps what is most important is not just the bear itself, but the meaning behind it, and the feelings that we hope it gives to those we love.


Valentine's Day is a symbolic holiday that celebrates the bonds of love. As you know, this could be between a man and woman, a father and son, or even a mother and daughter. In honor of this holiday and those who take the time to treat their loved ones with gifts, try and create your own tradition for the occasion! If you'd like to share your thoughts on Valentine's Day history or share your own traditions, please let us know in the comments below.

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