Valentine’s Day Plan and Tips for Guys
Planning for Your Valentine
It's never too early to start planning for Valentine's Day - especially for the fellas!
You don't want to chance this special day springing up on you unawares and catching you either short on funds, or lacking spontaneity.
Those that can afford to wine and dine obviously should; those that can't must plan ahead!
While we would be the first to admit (happily) that you don't need money to show your love, a thoughtful gift can set anyone's heart a-flutter, and we ALL love to receive them.
As is true with most things, planning ahead gives you a chance to wow her (or him) at minimal expense.
No matter what she tells you, Valentine's Day is important to her, and so it should be important to you :-)
A heartfelt card can be more than enough between sincere lovers, but there's nothing wrong with spicing things up a bit with a box of premium chocolates and some roses.
Some early planning goes a long way to getting her what you want to get her; but first, here's a little bit of history of the man they called Valentine.
Valentine and How He Came To Be a Saint
Valentine’s Day makes its way into our hearts and minds each year on the 14th day of February; although it originally began as a Christian holiday (actually, it’s true origins date back even to some Roman myths), it is now rightfully for anyone and everyone, as love should be.
Starting with the ancient Romans, its history is rather shrouded in mystery, with several versions of Valentines Days origins out there.
One of the more romantic legends has that a priest – appropriately named Valentine – went against the King’s edict which stated that no priest in all the land should perform the rites of marriage between couples.
Now why would someone do this, you ask? Because it was wartime, and the King wanted no married males in his army (understandable issues of loyalty, of course). The priest Valentine, however, couldn’t be bothered with so unfair a policy, and secretly married off young men and women who so desired to be united in (presumably) everlasting love..
Obviously, he was caught; and would pay for his troubles by one day being christened a saint, for the death he suffered because he broke the rules (in those days breaking the rules pretty much always meant death).
Saint Valentine's Day Customs
Ever since the Middle Ages – which denote a time period, particularly in Europe, between 500 AD and 1500 AD – loved ones have done different things to celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day.
In the days of chivalry (chuckle), young girls coming-of-age would jot down the names of potential suitors on scraps of paper; then she’s wrap the names in a waterproof covering and toss them in bowl of water.
The first name to rise to the top was supposed to be the name of her future husband!
We can only imagine how many names were tossed back, so long as there wasn't an audience the first time around.
Another custom was considerably simpler: young men and women would convene in meadows or flower gardens on the 14th of February, where they would (supposedly) enjoy music, poetry and festivities all day long. This custom was particularly prevalent in Italy, and could perhaps serve as inspiration for some of you guys out there…
Ideas For the Guys - Start Saving Now
A tip for the fellas: if you are mindful of the approach of St Valentine’s Day, and you want to make your significant other feel special, here’s a word of advice, start putting away at least $20 per month for her gift.
Since it’s not about the money, the goal of this is to show thoughtfulness and year-round caring. If you start in September, then you will have a whopping $80-$100 with which to wine and dine her!
We have a few friends who took our advice to a new level, and saved $20 per week leading up to February 14th, and took their lovers on a cruise. Do as you wish, but start soon – or start planning for next years Valentines Day to show her how much you really, really care. Of course, she already knows you do…right?.
The Chocolate Shop’s Chocolates
About Chocolate - Favorite Brands
Rare is the person who doesn't enjoy the varying sweet taste of chocolate, one of the wonders of food and banes to the waistline (!).
Especially as pertains to Valentines Day, where you get to choose from the abundant range of chocolates to gift to a loved one.
Made from the cocoa bean, chocolate as we know it is virtually unrecognizable in both taste and appearance from its humble beginnings in the little brown bean, and its great variability.
The taste of chocolate depends largely on how much cocoa butter is extracted during processing; as well as the sugar added - has made many chocolate companies the favorite of people all over the world.
Mint Meltaway Chocolates - Fannie May and Helen Grace
Personally, some of the best chocolates we've ever had for St Valentines Day were Fannie May’s Mint Meltaways.
They are milk-chocolate soft-nuggets boasting a wonderful center of minty dark chocolate.
We've tried the Fannie May and Helen Grace concoctions and can’t tell the difference between the two.
Made with a precise blend of both fresh Belgian and Swiss chocolates, doused with pure peppermint oil and cream swirls, a box of these is best bought with a workout plan!
In particular, Philadelphia Candies makes some of the best Mint Meltaways I ever had, during a timer when Amazon.com was sold out of the Fannie May brand.
They're made from scratch in the production facility and arrive to your house as delectable and fresh as the day they were made.
Not only are they silky smooth and great-tasting, they’re also a visual treat and make a great presentation on that special evening the two of you have alone.
Hershey's Chocolate - the Old Faithful
The old American favorite, Hershey’s Chocolate Company is probably responsible for a larger variety of chocolates and candy than you’re aware; certainly more than we were aware of before searching.
Kit Kats, Heath bars, Reese’s, Jolly Ranchers and many more fly their banners under Hershey’s flag.
Hershey’s has been around since before the turn of the 20th century, and has grown to be the largest – as you might have guessed – chocolate provider in the Western Hemisphere.
Don’t let the ubiquitous Hershey brand fool you, however; they haven’t been around so long for nothing: their mass-produced milk chocolate is delightful in their many incarnations.
Godiva Chocolatier - Valentines Day Luxury for the Mouth
Godiva Chocolates may very well be the standard for high-quality chocolate, with just a handful of competition.
Named after a noble Lady of legend who sacrificed her modesty for the lifting of oppressive taxation by her husband (I personally can think of better ways to make your husband do as you wish!), the originally Belgium company is now based in Turkey, and boasts annual sales flirting with half-a-billion dollars.
With Godiva, it all starts with the mesmerizing presentation and only gets better from there.
For true chocolate indulgence, you might start with their milk chocolate gift box.
They’ve got a special Saint Valentines Day selection of wrapped chocolates, as well as gift boxes galore.
Leonidas The King of Chocolates?
Those Belgians sure know what they’re doing when it comes to chocolate (as well as likely many other things, of course!).
Like Godiva, Leonidas chocolates are fit for a king; and, for the time being remains in Belgium, where their milk chocolate pralines are a huge success.
With 1400 chocolate shops worldwide to Godiva’s 450, Leonidas’ success is undeniable, as is the much-sought-after flavor of their wide variety of premium chocolates.
See's Candies for Valentines - A Familiar Chocolate Love
See’s Candies is nearly as old as Hershey’s, and is of agreeably higher-quality (as most would agree).
See’s Candies, in fact, is rather like the Godiva of the West, although probably a slight tier below her Belgian cousin; however, the details may be solely in the presentation, for See’s has remained singularly delicious over the past 8 decades of her existence.
Everyone has probably had a See’s Candies Lollipop, or one of their familiar crisp white boxes of assorted chocolates.