Thursday, 14 January 2016

Valentine's Greeting Cards and Gifts

Love it or hate it, it's hard to escape the fact that Valentine's Day follows quite quickly on the heels of the Christmas and New Year holidays!

And the Welsh version - St Dwynwen's Day - arrives even sooner, on January 25th, as even Derek Brockway, the well-known BBC Wales weather forecaster, never fails to remind us.

St Dwynwen is the Welsh Patron Saint of Lovers
and her feast day is celebrated on 25 January. So here's a selection of Greeting Cards for St Dwynwen's Day, all of them ready for you to personalize. (You can find out more about her in this archived blog post.)

Click on the image to see the whole collection -

But back to St Valentine's Day - I've written several blog posts about this somewhat controversial 'holiday' in years gone by so there's no need for me to go into detail the origins of St Valentine's Day. But if you want to read one of the most likely-sounding theories about St Valentine and why he has been adopted worldwide as the Patron Saint of Lovers (except, maybe, in Wales), here's an article that claims to be the real story.

Whatever the truth of the origin of this special season, it's true that, on February 14th each year, millions of girlfriends, wives and miscellaneous sweethearts hope to receive some special token of their lover's undying affections. And they are likely to be extremely displeased if nothing suitable is forthcoming!

This can even cause a major hiccup in a relationship! And if young girls - or older ones, for that matter! - foolishly measure their worth by the quantity and quality of the Valentine's cards and gifts they receive, it can become a major problem.

In truth, though, St Valentine's Day is more of a challenge for the men and the boys, unless they happen to be one of the more romantically inclined males, who are rather few and far between.

For a start, a great many men do not even like going into greeting cards stores at the best of times. So venturing into a card store at a time of year when it's particularly full of red hearts and roses and 'mushy' verses, takes a lot of nerve!

And as for coming up with an original idea for a Valentine's gift, year after year, that, surely, is too much to ask!

Of course there are always the traditional bouquets of red roses - that's a pretty safe bet. And a romantic dinner for two in a favourite restaurant will probably always be well received. Cute, cuddly teddy bears may be the answer for some, but they're certainly not every woman's dream!

So what if you want to do something different, something a little bit more original? Where do you go for ideas?

Well, here are a few to start you off! And they don't even involve you in that dreaded business of going into a store because you can shop online. What's more, many of them are ready for you to personalize and that's sure to make a really good impression.

All ready for St Valentine's Day! 
A collection of Valentines cards and gifts with bright pink and blue hearts, made from a hand-painted paper collage, ready to personalize. 
The same hearts, together with paper collage pink flowers on a magenta background make for a chic pattern on romantic gifts for the one you love!

Click on the image to see the whole collection - 

Valentine's Day Cards and Treats! 
Red Roses and Chocolates. Nothing can express your Valentine's Day sentiments better than these - unless, of course, it's a very specially Personalized Box of Chocolates! 
So choose a gift for your loved one from these pretty Valentine's Day designs, all with matching Valentine's Day Cards and Chocolate-dipped Oreo Cookies to customize - and now there are even matching Gift Bags and Favor Boxes to present them in! 
You can guarantee she'll be impressed!

Click on the image to see the whole collection -

Everything you need for St Valentine's Day! 
Chic Greeting Cards, Wrapping Paper, Ribbon and Gift Tags and Lovers' Mugs - all with country-style 'Hearts and Roses'. Plenty more 'Hearts and Roses' Gifts in my Posh & Painterly store -

Click on the image to see the whole collection -

Love Pillows or Cushions!
A collection of romantic pillows or cushions for someone you love, your girlfriend, wife, partner or your mother or grandmother! 
The pillows come in various shapes and sizes, some have hearts or roses while others have the word 'Love' in faux applique. Sure to be a welcome gift for many occasions as well as St Valentine's Day!

Click on the image to see the whole collection -

Romantic smartphone cases with hearts and flowers - the perfect gift for a girlfriend or partner. All Case-Mate cases are available with these designs - choose the one you need from the drop-down menu under Device Type on the product page.

Click on the image to see the whole collection -

Love-themed Postage Stamps -
to add the finishing touch to many occasions: Weddings, Anniversaries, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and many more! (sadly, for use in the USA only.)

Click on the image to see the whole collection -

Here's a selection of Valentine's Day Cards with the greeting in Welsh, along with all sorts of romantic gifts and treats for your loved one, even if they're not Welsh!
And there's even matching Gift-wrapping Paper and Gift Bags to add the finishing touch! (Some silly Welsh Sheep have also found their way into this Collection!)

Click on the image to see the whole collection -

And finally - if you are at all confident in the kitchen, you might want to cook a special meal for your beloved, whether that's a 'him' or a 'her'! What could be a clearer sign of your devotion - as long as you clear up after yourself!

Here's a blog post from a while ago with one of my favourite Valentine's Day recipes - Recipe for a Valentine's Feast!

Alternatively, there are some pretty imaginative Romantic Recipes here, on the BBC website. Good luck with those if you decide to try them - you might want to do a practice run first!

It just remains for me to wish you all a Very Happy (and stress-free!) St Valentine's Day and hope that you won't need this 'Missing You' card for an Absent Valentine!

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