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Love offers plenty of inspiration when buying Valentine’s Day gifts

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It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, a time to celebrate love and lavish gifts on the special person in your life.

And where better than the Borders to find the perfect love token or whisk your chosen one off for a romantic dinner a deux?

The region is a veritable treasure trove for artisan gifts, inspired florists and quality eateries, let alone the many places selling just the right card for your beloved (or to send to the one you secretly admire).

And what can go wrong? This after all is a day named after a saint. Or several, it would seem, as the origins of the day are many and varied, depending on who you read. Valentine’s Day began as a celebration of several Christian saints of the same name.

And one, it would appear, was a priest in Rome who performed weddings for soldiers in secret (they were forbidden to marry under the Roman Empire) and helped persecuted martyrs.

Unfortunately for him he was beheaded for this on February 14 in about 270.

But it wasn’t until the 18th century in the UK that February 14 became a day for lovers and the gifts of flowers, confectionery and cards.

By the following century the cards were being mass produced. According to Wikipedia, just under half of us in the UK open our wallets for our Valentine’s Day, spending about £1.3billion on flowers, chocolates, an estimated 25 million cards and other gifts.

We’ve also gone online with our declarations of love, with recent figures showing an estimated 15 million e-valentines being sent.

St Valentine, meanwhile, is kept busy the rest of the year, for not only is he the patron saint of lovers, he’s on duty too for engaged couples, bee keepers, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, the plague, travellers and young people.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

 

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