Defy tradition and try simple gestures for your Valentine

FOLKLORE surrounding Valentine's Day tells the tale of Valentine, a Roman priest, who performed secret marriage ceremonies.

Marriage for soldiers was outlawed by Emperor Claudius II, who believed single men were more courageous.

But St Valentine defied the law and married young lovers.

In contemporary society, the day is observed with flowers, extravagant meals and jewellery, with Australians expected to fork out $791.4 million leading up to Valentine's Day.

Relationships counsellor Vicki Norton said Valentine's Day was a great excuse to show others how much they mean to you.

"Ideally, every day would be like Valentine's," she said.

"What's important to remember is honouring all of those who are special in your life whether it be a partner, parents, children or a pet."

Mrs Norton said expensive gestures were unnecessary.

"Something as simple as a cooked meal, a love letter or a homemade gift often means a lot more than an easily purchased over the counter present," she said.

"It can be a special day for singles too. My girlfriends and I love to get together on Valentine's Day. Even some of my married friends ditch their husbands on Valentine's to join us."

So in the theme of St Valentine in defying tradition, perhaps we can circumvent expensive traditional celebrations.

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