Showing some holiday love

provided photos Robert and Judy James have been married for almost 50 years which means they have had many Valentine’s Days together. Judy James said that she has experienced many exciting and romantic Valentine’s Days with her husband, but having a simple night together is what they will be doing this year which to her is still as good as going out for a dinner date.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — On Thursday, many people will be showered with love and gifted items such as candy, flowers, and jewelry for Valentine’s Day.

But other other people will mark the occasion in other ways.

Sarah Coffield of St. Clairsville said that while she does not have a Valentine this year, she still loves to celebrate it with her friends.

“We go out to a movie or have a girls’ night for the single ladies in my friends group,” Coffield said. “We don’t always have it on Valentine’s Day though — maybe the weekend before or after. It is a lot of fun, and I think everyone should celebrate with friends if they don’t have a significant other.”

Coffield said that Valentine’s Day is on her list of favorite holidays because she said she loves seeing people who are in love.

“It makes me happy to see couples happy in love with each other,” Coffield said. “It gives me hope for one day that the right guy will come along. I have been in relationships before where people have went above and beyond on Valentine’s Day. I do love being spoiled, but I am OK without anything as long as I know that person really loves and cares for me. I would be OK with just ordering a pizza and having a night in. I believe that you can find a romantic situation with anything if you are really in love.”

Judy and Robert James of Moundsville are approaching their 50th wedding anniversary and believe that, to this day, it is important to show love on Valentine’s Day — but gifts and a date aren’t always a necessity for the holiday.

“It’s important to show your love for each other on Valentine’s Day,” Judy James said. “It doesn’t have to be anything expensive. In the past we have went to concerts, dinners and I have gotten roses. We really don’t have any plans this Valentine’s Day. Just a nice quiet evening at home.”

The couple offered their own tips for those who are in romantic relationships to make it long-lasting like theirs, making sure the love never stops.

“I think in a good relationship you have to be spontaneous. Never be afraid to say you’re sorry. Never go to bed angry at each other. Always talk it out and, of course, give a goodnight kiss,” Judy James said. “We have always felt blessed with each other and a wonderful family. We thank God for that.”

Valentine’s Day has an interesting history behind it. According to the Smithsonian, the holiday was not always about celebrating love. It actually was started to mark the death of a Christian martyr on Feb. 14. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. The history of the individual for whom the holiday is named is unclear, and historical sources state that different accounts of the saint may actually refer to the same person.

At the end of the 5th century Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, though, that the day became associated with love. The oldest known Valentine greeting is a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned.

Valentine’s Day started becoming more of a popular holiday around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th century, it was common for couples and friends to exchange Valentine greetings with each other. By 1900, printed cards began to replace handwritten ones.

According to the National Retail Federation, the popularity of Valentine’s Day is decreasing and only 55 percent of Americans said that they were going to celebrate last year. Despite this, the holiday is important to the United States’ economy. Most spending related to the holiday is reported to be on spouses and significant others, but many people buy gifts for their friends, teachers, and co-workers.