VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT ideas for CHRISTIANS

Valentines Day gift for a Christian

Is it possible to have Christian Valentine’s Gifts, that is, Valentines Day gifts – for a Christian?

We think so, and in our SHOP we have a few VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS of jewellery combining themes of both Love and Christianity – in particular, Crosses with Hearts, but also Love-Lock-Key jewellery, Friendship jewellery, etc. as well as the ‘Love’ or ‘Romance’ gemstones of Garnet, Rose Quartz, Jade and Moonstone combined with a Christian symbol. Any of these can given as a Valentine’s present that has Christian overtones or significance.

Christain Valentines gift

But don’t some Christians believe that Valentines Day is a ‘pagan’ festival?

It is true that, whilst the origin of Valentine’s Day has ‘connections’ to Christianity, there are those that say that it actually originated in the Roman festival of Lupercalia. This was a fertility festival around February that honoured the Roman gods of Juno (goddess of marriage and women), Pan (god of nature), as well as Faunus, Romulus, and Remus. Others say that Valentine was a holy priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, who was executed for preaching the love of God.

But the essence of Christianity is said to be Love and the doctrine of Saint Valentine was to embrace love, to show love and to preach love. Hatred was to be discouraged. And for this reason alone (if any reason is actually needed), St Valentine’s Day can be celebrated as a time to show our love (usually for someone in a romantic way) or even rekindle it.

So, despite the fact that a few Christians think that Saint Valentine is to be shunned, many, many more think that the expression of love is more important and, by combining love and Christian symbols in our jewellery, we are able to offer Valentine’s Day Gifts for Christians.

See some Christian VALENTINES DAY GIFT IDEAS in our SHOP

If you really appreciate someone who happens to be of the Christian faith, why not let them know – with one of our inspirational gifts for Valentine’s Day

Around this time of year we see that “love is in the air”, hearts are everywhere (mostly red – although heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are very popular), and flowers are ordered for those with more romantic Valentine’s Day gift ideas. People also have a bit of fun with their Valentines Day presents.

But many of these things, particularly flowers and chocolates, don’t last that long. So why not consider something a bit more persistent, enduring and lasting . . like Valentine Jewellery – meaningful jewellery for girlfriends, boyfriends, sweethearts, husbands, wives . . and friends.

But kind words are important too, and so we have made it possible for customers to add a personal message to each of our gifts, which we then print on one of our gift cards.

Gem Stones for luck in love?

Something else that might be of interest: We are the Good Luck Gift shop – so why not take a look in our store for a gift that might actually help you get lucky in love yourself! For example, some gemstones are said to actually attract love! In particular, Garnet, Rose Quartz and Jade are very popular. And it is also said that if you place a Moonstone under your pillow at night, you will dream of your loved-one!

A Christian prayer for Saint Valentine’s Day goes something like this:

“God bless you on this special day, God keep you in His care, and may His blessing and His love go with you everywhere”

And in the Bible (Corinthians), it mentions Faith, Hope and Love – saying that the greatest of these is Love. So let’s commemorate love on Saint Valentine Day and remember that, as the saying goes: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

In popular culture, the heart signifies love: And we have quite a lot of HEART JEWELLERY in our Store

The heart is symbolic of our spiritual and emotional core because the heart is thought to be the seat of the human soul: A piece of heart jewellery depicts love, as well as commitment, passion and longing.

Another example of Saint Valentine’s jewellery isthe so-called lock and key jewellery, or the love lock necklace – whereby a lock and key is combined into a charm and used to signify a secured (and sometimes, secret) love connection: One half of the lock-and-key set is kept by each partner to maintain a feeling of connection – even when both partners are (or have to be) physically apart. Heart, lock and key jewellery is very powerful symbolically: Give a friend or loved-one a piece of lock and key jewellery, and it means you are gifting them a piece of your fidelity. In this way, you wish (and hopefully, will get) the key to their heart in return. Indeed, a key gifted to a loved-one is said to signify that you are actually holding the key to their heart.

And what about love jewellery in general? Do love charms actually work?

Love charms can be traced back to the ancient world of Egypt, Greece and Rome. Common Anglo Saxon love charms included rings, flowers (such as red roses, and lilies), a lock of hair – especially when braided into a circle and kept in locket; dove feathers . . and love jewellery.

Wearing a piece of love jewellery is said to make someone feel more desirable – at least in their own mind. Many women in Ancient Greece used love jewellery as well as spells as a form of therapy. Regardless of whether the spells actually worked, it made them feel more comfortable and it made them feel as if they had some control over their lives.

We hope that our Love Jewellery works in the same way, not only as the ideal gift, but also as something for yourself . . to perhaps help you to find true love with the special person or friend in your life. Our pieces of love jewellery worn in a noticeable manner, may well work in this respect. They are objects that represent a desired change or outcome, and the charm focuses the mind to help you get what you want.

We stock a great deal of Concha Shell jewellery too: The concha shell has a long association with love.

Indeed, the principal symbol of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, is the shell. Over thousands of years, gods and goddesses from different cultures have displayed concha shells as symbols of romance and love.

But whatever your beliefs, Saint Valentine is still the the patron saint of love and, every year on 14th February, people celebrate this day by sending gifts of love and affection to partners and friends.

HEALTH BANDS give the GIFT of GOOD HEALTH this Xmas

Health band bracelets for good health

Announcing our Health Band bracelets

Good health is a gift to be treasured, and individually we are responsible for maintaining (or improving) our wellness. But can we gift good health to someone else? We think that a Health Band bracelet could help.

Good health bracelets

SEE Health Band bracelets and other GIFTS to WISH SOMEONE GOOD HEALTH in our SHOP

When we talk about “health” most people think about the physical nature of health including diet, exercise and fitness, as well as the environment, pollution, getting sufficient rest, avoiding infectious diseases, bacteria, viruses and so on. But there are many other factors that can influence our health and well-being, not least having good finances and social relationships, career satisfaction, belonging to a ‘community’ and having a sense of purpose in life.

Indeed, it was Dr. Bob Cutillo who helped us to cultivate a more spiritual, even religious, understanding of our health and how it relates to faith and belief. In various articles and appearances, he encouraged us to seek a wiser pursuit of health than pure physical well-being and medicine; (he’s a medical doctor so he should know!) In his book Pursuing Health In An Anxious Age, he notes that there is a thin line between medicine, wellness and faith. In particular, he reminds us that we are not necessarily in as much control of our health as we’d like to believe. Accordingly, he comes up with the idea that health is really a gift – and not something we ‘own’ as a possession to control and protect, but rather, a gift which is given to us afresh every day.

Gift of good health

So how can we nurture and protect this good health gift . . and perhaps pass it on to friends and loved-ones, especially during these difficult times in 2020, with lockdowns, quarantines and sheltering in place?

As mentioned above, we can of course do all the physical things. We can also also try to take care of our finances, our relationships and our career, whilst cultivating our ‘community’ and establishing a sense of purpose in life – which is more about our emotional wellness. After all, it is often said that how we think affects how we feel, and a big part of that is being positive. Thinking about the things we appreciate and the successes that we’ve had, can help fend off negative thoughts, which can lead to better emotional health.

Jewellery / Bracelets to wish good health

This is where our Gifts for Good Health can come in (in particular our Health Band bracelets): For the time being, forget about all the diet plans, the wholefoods, the vitamins and the medicines, the vaccines, the ‘alternative’ therapies . . even the fitness programmes too. If you want to give someone a lasting gift for good health, try appealing to their emotions: Try giving them a gift that strikes a chord in their consciousness and so REMINDS them to live healthily every day: This truly can be a gift for life: Each day, they can wake up, see their Gift for Good Health (such as one of our health bracelets) and think: “Oooh, I must remember to do X,Y,Z today and keep on top of my health”. The ins-and-outs of how they actually do this can come later (and anyway, it will largely depend on the individual person and their specific circumstances as to how they can (or will) achieve their good health goals). But the important moment has occurred and they have actually started to think about their gift of good health – and how to look after it 🙂

Our simple little Health Band bracelets make a great gift to wish someone good health.

So what exactly is a Health Bracelet?

Bracelets have lots of symbolic meanings and uses but our Health Band bracelets are specifically aimed at the concept of good health. In this respect, each one ships with an inspirational information card entitled “Be Healthy” and thus fulfils its primary task of being a Good Health bracelet . . . that is, when worn on the wrist, it becomes a constant reminder of good health aims / goals and desires – a subtle prod to the subconscious throughout the day to say “Be Healthy today!” making a great gift to pass on good health wishes. The Health Bracelet is nothing inherently healthy in itself – it doesn’t make you more healthy per se . . it is simply a reminder to adhere to the principles of a healthy lifestyle where possible.

Health Bands

So our Health Bands are decorative bracelets which can be given as a symbol of good health wishes. We sell various styles and patterns, but many are handmade of nylon or cotton thread using a type of macrame knotting that can be traced back more than 2000 years to Tibet in 500 BC. In some ways they resemble a friendship bracelet (although most of ours are waxed and knotted nylon and so are much tougher and stronger). Consequently, although they can feel a bit hard to begin with when first put on, they are very tough and just fine in a bath or shower, etc. and will not easily be damaged by seawater.

An ideal gift to wish someone good health

All our Health Bands are unisex which means they can be worn by both males or females, being popular as much amongst young teenagers as well as with the older generation. So they make an ideal gift to tell your wife, girlfriend, husband, boyfriend, mother, father, son, daughter, loved-one, or simply a friend or work colleague, just how much they mean to you . . in particular, with regard to their health. This is a present with real meaning.

Xmas present with meaning

These Health Bands are especially poignant at this moment of global health crisis as we lead up to Christmas: Our Health Band bracelets can remind us and our friends to take extra care with respect to being healthy. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as “complete physical, mental, and social well-being – and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. So good health does not come easily – it demands work, patience and sacrifice. With a little Health Band bracelet, it is hoped that the recipient will be REMINDED of their own good health goals, and encouraged to find moments to be blessed with the things that make them happy and well every day. A Chinese proverb says: “With time and patience, the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown.” So it is important to slow down, breath in the freshness and to de-stress. This would be a great message to pass on this Christmas.

Of course, staying healthy physically helps you to stay healthy emotionally too. If you’re eating good food and keeping fit, your body will be strong and help you to fight illness and cope with stress. Which, once again, is where our Health Bands come in: As a gentle REMINDER to act healthily each day.

Everyone has stress but it is how we react to it that matters, and the most unhelpful thing we can do is to turn to something un-healthy to try and cope (such as smoking or drinking). So perhaps our little Health Bracelets could help in this respect too – by enabling us to take control, and further encouraging us (and our friends and loved-ones) to invoke good health practices, aspirations and goals.

SEE Health Bracelets in our SHOP – an ideal GIFT TO WISH GOOD HEALTH :

It has been reported that some people feel stronger and healthier wearing one of our health bracelets . . and although this is probably a placebo effect, it is undoubtedly true that there is power in a thought made positive by a symbol such as this – being a constant reminder of purpose and desires. In other words, our Health Band is not a “good health” thing per se, it merely expresses a DESIRE to be healthy – a “representation” of good health practices and concepts, and a REMINDER to live healthily every day.

Be Healthy - gift to wish good health

The best gift you can give a friend or loved-one who is trying to be healthier is encouragement – and our new Health Bands are intended to do just that: They would make a great “Gift of Health” to give this Christmas, when we are all so conscious of our general wellness.

New KEEP SAFE GIFTS to say TAKE CARE and BE SAFE

Keep safe gift to say take care

In May, 2020, The Good Luck Gift Shop announced a new range of gifts to say Keep Safe

You can see some of them in the  Keep Safe Gifts  category (especially jewellery) in our SHOP

And now, in July, as people begin to travel again after the reduction in risk levels of the virus pandemic, and the opening up of travel destinations / countries, many people are thinking about safety as they plan their holiday vacations and other travel trip journeys.

Take care and be safe

BUT, is it safe to go out and to travel again?

The answer to that question is, quite simply, who knows? Lots of people are still concerned about their safety. Will I be at risk of infection? If I get sick, will I have to miss work or school? Should I wear a mask? How often must I clean my hands? How close am I allowed to other people?

In consequence, it has become appropriate to offer friends and loved-ones suggestions and advice in these difficult times and sometimes a little ” Keep Safe ” gift as well to say  ” Take Care ” and ” Be Safe ” can be a good idea too.

Safe and sound – and secure

This is not only applicable to someone travelling – it can be equally relevant to someone going out into their local environment perhaps travelling to the shops for the first time in months – maybe after sheltering in place under the Stay Home, Stay Safe policy of many countries internationally. Many people (particularly the elderly) have become nervous about going out. ¡Quédate en casa! was the refrain in Spain. And it is not only religious or Christian jewellery that features in our SHOP:

Safe jewellery

For this reason, The Good Luck Gift Shop introduced a range of jewellery that would make an ideal gift to pass on a Keep Safe message to friends and loved-ones to perhaps help give them a bit of confidence and tell them that you are there for them and thinking about them.

Safe journey

So whatever a colleague’s plans on venturing out, whether going shopping in the supermarket for groceries, etc, going back work, or for leisure / holiday reasons, these jewellery gifts have symbolic meaning that can be passed on to friends and loved-ones as a meaningful present.

Gifts to say Take Care in our shop

Many of our new Keep Safe gifts are based on religious or Christian symbols and values, and so would meet the needs of spiritually-minded people who are looking for meaningful jewellery and other gifts in these strange times to pass on their message to Take Care and Be Safe.

Plese visit our  SHOP  to see more “Keep Safe” gifts

Jewellery / Gifts with Meaning . . it’s what we do!

When will CAMINO de SANTIAGO OPEN again?

Camino de Santiago route hostal open

The Camino de Santiago closed in March 2020 because of CoronaVirus, but the hopes and aspirations of the pilgrims and other travellers remain alive. So when will El Camino re-open?

For those walkers, pilgrims and other travellers hoping to travel this famous route some time soon, the general message coming out of Spain at the moment is: “Pilgrim – now is not the time . . The Camino can wait.”

When will LOCKDOWN end along El Camino in Spain?

Here at  The Good Luck Gift Shop we are keeping a careful eye on what is happening in the news coming out of Santiago de Compostela. For example, at the time of writing this article, both the Cathedral and the Pilgrim Office remain closed.

The Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the Way of Santiago is asking that everyone interested in walking the Camino should take “Individual Responsibility” and continue to follow the recommendations of the health authorities and “Stay at Home” with respect to COVID-19 CoronaVirus. They have produced a little video of many people connected with the Camino repeating the mantra: “Me quedo en casa – I am staying at home”. Indeed, the message throughout Spain is “Quédate a casa” (stay at home!) Now is not the time to walk El Camino de Santiago (anyway it is “closed” and you would receive a fine if you attempted it (that is, assuming you could even get into the area which is, like the rest of the Spanish peninsular, in “lockdown”. All the hostels, hotels, albergues and other “shelters” have been closed on all roads to Santiago.

So, “dear Pilgrim,” as the Authorities in Galicia say, “please calm your longing for the Camino until everything returns to normal”  It is better to travel safe than sorry.

BUT, people ask: When will that be?

When will El Camino re-open? When will flights resume to Spain?

If you want a realistic answer to this question, it looks like September at the earliest. “El Camino puede esperar” they say – but can you?

When will Camino de Santiago open again

Well, for one thing, there is a lot to be said for walking El Camino in the Autumn or September:

– It is less crowded

– There are milder temperatures than in the popular months of July and August – although good weather is no longer assured

– There is more accommodation available

So, as they say in Spain: “Ultreya!” (the response is Suseia!) (Onward! > Go further!)

In the meantime, “en solidaridad con los caminantes” we have produced a good luck necklace with the Yellow Arrow marker symbol of Camino de Santiago . . which could be given as a little gift of support for a disappointed friend who had to cancel their trip on El Camino this year (or postpone). We sell it at cost price (only the postage needs be paid):

Good luck necklace Camino yellow arrow symbol
To help keep the dream alive 🙂

More information about the feasibility of the Camino de Santiago route will be posted here as it becomes available.

Ultreya! Et Suseia! Buen Camino! El Camino WILL open again

STAY WELL GIFTS – KEEP HEALTHY, SAFE and KEEP the DREAM

Stay well keep healthy and safe

With the spread of Coronavirus, some people are cancelling journeys and others are looking for ways to pass on their best wishes to friends, relatives and work colleagues to say look after yourself, stay healthy and safe, and keep the dream alive

As a good luck gift shop, we have decided to highlight some of the  gifts  that we have in our online shop to support this idea. We are aware that this could be labelled as jumping on the bandwagon, but the reality is that we already have a lot of saddened and downhearted customers – those who had planned and prepared, for example, to walk Spain’s famous Camino de Santiago, and who are now confined at home instead. A simple little gift to people like this who are suffering disappointment cannot be a bad thing – and in fact, we would encourage it as a means of offering support . . which is, after all, what the Indalo Camino Good Luck Gift shop is all about.

Stay healthy wishes

“Stay healthy and safe” seems to be the massage of the moment with Coronavirus spreading worldwide, and people are understandably concerned about the welfare of their friends and loved-ones.

However, the approach of how to deal with this virus varies around the globe. Spain, for example has adopted the “Italian” approach – lock everyone up until it has “gone away”. In the USA, there is a rapidly developing situation: At the current time, the policy seems to be one of “checks and balances”.

But in the United Kingdom, things are, at the moment, a bit different: The UK wants the population to acquire “herd immunity”. Robert Peston, working for ITV writes: Herd immunity is what happens to a group of people or animals when they develop sufficient antibodies to be resistant to a disease. The strategy of the British government is to allow the virus to pass through the entire population so that we acquire this herd immunity, but at a much delayed speed so that those who suffer the most acute symptoms are able to receive the medical support they need. In this way, the health service is not overwhelmed by the number of cases it has to treat at any one time.

This seems like sound advice (based on scientific principles). As the World Health Organisation has conceded, there is no way now of preventing the virus sweeping across the globe. Mr Peston says that the kind of coercive measures employed by China in Wuhan and Hubei have simply locked the virus behind closed doors. As soon as the constraints on freedom of movement, etc, are lifted, the virus will return again.

School closures? Take care

School closures and the banning of mass events like football matches are not particularly recommended. It is argued that children themselves are the least at risk from the virus and, by closing schools they may become a channel of infection to older carers such as Grandparents. The UK government adds that this policy would massively deplete the manpower of hospitals and care homes, because vast numbers of medical staff would be forced to stay at home to look after their children.

Although the policy of keeping schools open has been labelled as “risky” by some experts, Professor Ian Donald, University of Liverpool, says UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan for the outbreak is based on the idea that low-risk people are actually meant to catch the virus. When enough people have this immunity it eventually limits the spread of the virus as it has fewer places to go. The population overall is then safe because it has an inherent immunity to it. He is quoted as saying: “The UK starting assumption is that a high number of the population will inevitably get infected whatever is done – up to 80%. As you can’t stop it, it is best to manage it.” Writing in the Daily Record, Tim McNulty reports that the aim of the UK is to have as many lower risk people infected as possible. Immune people cannot infect others; the more there are, then the lower the risk of infection. That’s herd immunity.

The Italian strategy is to stop as much infection as possible – or all infection. This is appealing, but then what? The restrictions are not sustainable. So they will need to be relaxed at some time. But that will lead to re-emergence of infections and climbing rates again. This is not a sustainable model and takes much longer to achieve an immune population.

Take care of yourself

At present, National Health Service England simply advises people to stay at home for seven days if they have Coronavirus symptoms such as a high temperature and/or a new, continuous cough. They also say: Do not go to a GP (Doctors’) surgery, pharmacy or hospital. (You do not need to contact the health advice line 111 to tell them you’re staying at home). They say, testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.

 

The NHS also advises:
– Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
– Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
– Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
– Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
– Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
– Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Wishing you well

So, if you feel inclined to send a little gift of condolences or well wishing, and to say keep safe, stay healthy – and keep the dream alive , please take a look at our  Store .

Happy wishes – keeping the dream alive

In particular, we have Christian gifts of faith – many based on the Way of St James / Camino de Santiago to help  Keep the Dream Alive .

We are shipping solely from the UK now and all Royal Mail services are functioning normally. You can see more information about our Store’s  Shipping Polices  here. Thanks for your support in these difficult times.