Single this Valentines? No Problemo. But first, let's dive into the surprisingly dark history of this red feast. Back in ancient Rome when Romans celebrate Lupercalia, that's short for "women lining up to get spanked by Roman men just to get blessed for fertility", was held on February 15, the celebration included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew lots and get paired with young women for the whole duration of the festival. It sounds very Tinder-ish, without the swiping left and right. Before Valentines became the parade of lovers decorated with a bouquet of roses and box of chocolates, Valentine's day was believed to be associated with this brutal fete and of course, muddled with Saint Valentine's death.
Come the modern day, the new world adaptation to this beloved celebration is nothing but Hallmark cards with words to kill like "My heart is as big as the lake, my love is as deep as the ocean" or whatever cringe-worthy quote that even Shakespeare would roll his eyes so hard down in his grave. However, I would like to believe that this celebration of love comes in many colours and forms, besides fully booked hotels. In 2016, Singapore was ranked the third biggest Valentine's day spenders in Asia Pacific region according to Mastercard. Although a good majority still spends on experiences rather than gifts, there's still no denying that some would want to receive gifts on this special day.
Whether you're single or not, love is present all around us. We won't be here without our mums and dads, who loves us unconditionally. Ask yourself, when was the last time you treated them out for a good Sunday brunch or Yum Cha, topping that Mimosa for mum and or getting that sugar-loaded egg tart for dad, just for one day? How about some quality time with your brother, cycling along the park or go bowling with him and letting him win this time around?
I have scoured through the island and round up these that you could give to the people close to you.
1. Haircut / Shave - Rogue & Beyond
Grab your dad for an afternoon of leisure and get ridiculously handsome. The talented and well-groomed, Joel from Rogue and Beyond, knows the A-Z about hair grooming. The Sassoon alumnus is skilled to give you a haircut that would change your life, even a little. It's the integrity of a barber not saying "yes" to everything you suggest but instead, gives you a sensible breakdown of your choices and how you could recreate it at home.
Photo Credits: Rogue & Beyond
2. Personalised Stationery - Carda&co
We always have that someone in the office who makes our lives a little easier every day. Small things that make us feel more comfortable that we tend to take advantage. Whether it's your secretary, office administration personnel or just a reliable colleague, surprise them with some love with Carda's personalised stationery. In this digital age when the art of writing is slowly fading, and yet there's this desire of something tangible and handmade, Carda's tasteful designs and quality stationery would brighten anyone's day. Just make sure that you are thanking them for their generous assistance otherwise, they might take it the wrong way and look at you funny.
Photo Credits: Carda & Co
3. Flowers - Humid House
Send your loving neighbours a vase or bouquet or orchid blooms from the talented people from Humid House this Valentine's day. Nestled inside Straits Clan, visit them and peruse one of a kind vases or pick up a take-home flower or two. Nothing says Thank you or I'm sorry for the party noise than a pot of goodwill orchid.
Photo Credits: Humid House
4. Macarons or Chocolates - Pulse Patisserie
If you could splurge on your girlfriend, you have more reasons to splurge on your sister. Why not get her a box of artisanal chocolate pralines or heart shape macarons this Valentine's day? European couverture chocolate gives these pralines that dark and luscious bite. Pulse's creations are meticulously made by hand and planned thoughtfully. With their slogan, Design Delicious, they aim to craft beautiful and flavour-centric products and use them to tell stories.
Photo Credits: Pulse Patisserie
5. Capsule Wardrobe - Closeknip
Giving someone a capsule wardrobe may be a catalyst to someone's new and exciting beginnings. A job promotion or a fresh start in another company or simply retirement, whichever chapter you are in your life, make sure you look good in it. The Closeknip experience is a gift in itself, a high contrast from the traditional tailoring or intimidating bespoke shops where one venture into an unknown territory full of tailoring jargons and numbers. A Closeknip experience starts with a good conversation, to get to know you, what you are looking for and where you are in your wardrobe building. Closeknip's goal is not to "make you over" but to make you better and one of the best gifts, that you can give to someone or to yourself is to love yourself.