Thoughtfulness and love are at the heart of the modern Valentine

Valentine’s Day has survived for thousands of years, evolving from the folk stories about the love and kindness of two priests called Valentinus, to become a celebration for those we love and adore.

These days friends don’t just send chocolates to those they secretly admire but give cards and gifts to their mates as a thoughtful way to celebrate friendship. Parents buy gifts for their small children and animal lovers buy special treats for their pets, all in the name of Valentine’s.

Today it can be a grand, extravagant, romantic exercise or a simple thoughtful gesture of love. You can treat your true love to the traditional gifts of roses, Champagne and heart-shaped chocolates or you can buy or do something out of the ordinary for anyone you love and adore.

A special book about love to read to your children is a timeless and memorable way to celebrate unconditional love on Valentine’s Day. For the dedicated career man in your life, perhaps a classic silk tie can set a romantic tone for a day at the office.

Adding to the eight million roses that are sold every year in New Zealand for Valentine’s Day are a myriad of ways for us all to show someone we care. Whether it’s a simple picnic at a local park, coffee and cake with a friend, exquisite bed linens, or a swimsuit to make the most of the long, hot summer Valentine’s Day is a great way to celebrate love and kindness. (ANDREA KAHUKIWA)