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Article: Be my Valentine...
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. For retailers, it represents a small uptick in an otherwise slow winter quarter. The post holiday doldrums can be broken, if only for a week or so, with a well-presented promotion geared toward this holiday.

So we know Valentine’s Day is for lovers, but what are the origins of this holiday? Gifts, candy and flowers are exchanged every February 14th in the name of St. Valentine, but who was this guy?

There are at least three saints recognized by the Catholic Church named Valentine or Valentinius. The history of Valentine's Day is lost to the ages. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When the emperor decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers.

Valentine, a priest in the young Christian church, defied the emperor and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, he was ordered put to death.

Another story says that Valentine was killed for helping early Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were beaten and tortured. According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, Valentine fell in love with a young girl who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, he wrote her a letter which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today.

Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a romantic figure.

For retailers, packaging your promotion can really help sales. Groupings of similar items works very well. Our nesting silk bags from Vietnam are inexpensive and offer a three-in-one gift that is appealing and useful. We also have matching bags for evening or everyday use.

Offering some sort of packaging simplifies the process, especially for those with limited imagination or gift wrapping skills. Our silk sari coin purses are a great way to package small items for the customer looking for a quick solution to the Valentine's Day dilemma.

(This article written by Mike McGinnis and published originally on indiasilver.com. We allow republication provided the piece is copied in its entirety with links and attribution.)

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