For weeks the shops have been filled with red and pink gifts, cards and special offers. St Valentine's Day is less of a religious occasion and more of a mass plastic commercial holiday nowadays. Almost as bad as at Christmas time we are bombarded with emotive adverts telling us that the only way to show our true feelings to our loved ones is to buy this particular item, normally plastic and not often long-lasting.
While I really hate all that commercial pressure I always end up trawling through the suggested gifts in supermarket magazines, TV adverts and shop shelves, trying to find the most ridiculous gift of the year. This time pink and silver mini glitter larva lamp, oven gloves (red and white pattern to fit with the special day) and electric razor are some of the highlights. As weird as they are at least two of these are useful gifts and are likely to get used more than once. If the larva lamp makes it past three uses I'll be impressed, but maybe someone out there will treasure it for life.
My Valentines preparation has probably been my greenest ever. I selected an eco-friendly card weeks ago (for once not shopping last minute) which uses recycled paper and plant based inks. For presents (since he won't be reading this blog until after we've swapped gifts!) I chose home made and local produce. A big jar full of home made chocolate brownies, made with Fair-trade chocolate and some bottles of Lancashire Red ale and Blushes cider, both locally produced and both with a red theme specially for the day. And once they're gone, and the bottles are recycled, there's nothing left to fill up the house with other than memories, which are much better than mini glitter lava lamps anyway.