> >
January 25, 2024 8 minute READ

What is Love and 14 Gift Ideas for Your Valentine

tags Inspiration | Mast Family Favorites
locations All
Gifts for your Valentine

There are literally thousands of songs, poems, and even scientific research that seeks to define and pinpoint the answer to the query “What is Love?” The Greeks, in fact, had eight or nine different words for love with each having some dependencies around it. The great philosophers of Plato’s time, some 2,300-plus years ago are still impacting our thought of love today.  

Defining Love 

The four most commonly discussed terms of Greek love are Eros, Storge, Philia, and Agape. Let’s have a look at each of them. 

Eros draws its name from the Greek god of love and desire. Most often depicted as Cupid, who makes couples fall in love by shooting an arrow through their hearts, Eros love is one of the desire to satisfy basic needs. It is very impulsive; therefore, the feeling of “Eros” love is very short-lived.  

Storge is an automatic love. It is natural and deeply rooted in familial relationships. When a mother gives birth, the feeling she has for her child automatically is Storge. It is one of the reasons why parents can still love their children even when they say or do hurtful things.  

Philia is love of friends and equals. It is an all-encompassing love, which can stretch from the love of a good friend to one of the next steps of love after Eros between couples. Think of the City of Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. Philia is a love between individuals who share the same values, interests, and activities.  

Agape is one of the highest forms of love; one where society rises to a higher plain of acceptance and care. It can be defined as love of all mankind. In the Christian belief, it would be the love that God feels for men. It is a love where no return is expected. It’s what we experience when we see a terrible natural disaster, like the fires in Hawaii or the floods in Kentucky, and we are driven to make a donation or volunteer to help the victims.  

Many of our love relationships may progress through each of these different love levels or the others as defined by the ancient Greeks. As Valentine’s Day approaches, you may want to listen to this short, but thoughtful, podcast from the University of Utah Health Library.  

Gifts for Valentines 

Much is written about St. Valentine, the patron saint of love. Legend has it that one St. Valentine performed a miracle of giving sight to a child of his captor, which led to the conversion of that family to the Christian faith. Another says that a second St. Valentine performed marriage rights for Roman soldiers against the emperor’s wishes because a married soldier is not a good soldier. Both, in the legends, were martyred for their acts, and churches throughout Europe claim to have St. Valentines’ relics among their possessions.  

It was Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales who added a more romantic element to the Feast of St. Valentine by proclaiming that it was Valentine’s Day when every bird comes to choose his mate. Thus, came love notes, cards, and gifts of candy and jewelry in subsequent centuries. 

We believe that a Valentine can be panoptic – encompassing children, your lover, parents, co-workers, pets, and maybe even things – as long as you have love and respect for them. We also believe that a Valentine’s Day gift should envelop a desire to be thoughtful, playful, and meaningful. To that end, we’ve assembled a list of 14 (Plus) Gift Ideas for Your Valentine.  

Valentine's Gifts

14 (Plus) Gift Ideas for Your Valentine 

14. Carhartt Beanies – They are a fashion statement, will keep your Valentine warm this winter, come in a variety of colors, and you don’t have to worry about choosing the right size (whew!).

13. World’s Softest Weekend Ragg Sock – They look like classic ragg wool socks, but there’s no itch here. These socks from World’s Softest come in several colors and patterns. They are perfect for a “weekend in” or to complement an outfit. Don’t forget, when you purchase three pairs of socks, you can add another for FREE. 

12. Pet Treats – Our furry friends deserve to be spoiled every day but especially on Valentine’s Day for all the unconditional love they show us throughout the year. Treats and catnip are always appreciated!  

11. On Running Footwear – Who would turn down the opportunity to “run on clouds?” On’s unique design makes for soft landings and powerful take-offs – and you don’t have to be a runner to enjoy the comfort. There are “clouds” for hiking, too.  

10. Handwarmer Mugs – The Handwarmer Mug is a perennial top seller at the Mast Store. Its unique design allows your fingers to nest inside the handle, so your hand is warmed as you enjoy your favorite hot beverage. Made in USA, the mug is a conversation starter and is available in both left- and right-handed designs.  

9. Warmies Llama Hugs – These are “two cute” not to love! Perfect for Valentines of almost any age, these two llamas are ready to give warm hugs. They are gently scented with French lavender, which is great for bedtime or to decompress after a stressful day.  

8. Toasted Carolina Pecan Coffee – Roasted in Greenville, S.C., our Toasted Carolina Pecan Coffee is perfect anytime – a wake-up call in the morning or after supper dessert. It’s a great option to pair with a Handwarmer Mug.  

7. Kids’ Books – A love of reading is important to foster as early as possible. Mast Store has a good collection of children’s books that are perfect for bedtime stories to get things started and for read-aloud time as the love of reading grows. Plus, reading allows you to spend some quality time with your youngest Valentine.   

6. Light Hiker Socks – To take a little different turn on an old saying, warm heart; warm feet. Mast Store’s Light Hiker Socks are just right – made from soft Merino wool with technical features that make them more comfortable, like special knitting around the arch for a better fit and support and cushioning where you need it most.  

5. Super 550 Boots by Blundstone – Help your Valentine put their best foot forward in Blundstone’s iconic Super 550 boots. With XRD Technology for extra shock absorption around the heels, once they slip these boots on, there’s no taking them off. It’s good that Blundstones are in style no matter the season!  

4. Stanley Quencher – Hydration is very important because it helps regulate your body temperature, keeps joints lubricated, helps prevent infections, and, in general, keeps your body functioning. Having your water at the right temperature and close at hand makes it easier to up the H2O intake. Stanley Quenchers come in many sizes and shapes to help your Valentine meet their goals.  

3. Candy – Almost everyone has a favorite candy! From treasured old-fashioned choices like Bit-O-Honey and Charleston Chew to more new-fangled options like Gummi Bears and freeze-dried candies, there’s something for everyone in the barrels at Mast Store. Be sure to check out the chocolate bars, small-batch caramels, and chocolate-covered goodies.  

2. Mast Store Gift Cards – No matter how well you know and love your Valentine, there’s always some secret wish that is known only to that person. You can give the ability to make the wish come true – at least for items that are available at the Mast Store – with a gift card.  

1. Your Time – As hokey as it sounds, the gift of your undivided attention is a great gift to any of your Valentines – your pet, your kids, your spouse, your lover, your friends, and even yourself. Set aside a little time to spend with them that isn’t filled with other tasks that need to get done or need your focus. They will love it! 

Plus 1. Poppy Salted Caramel Popcorn – It's sweet; it’s savory. It’s the best of both worlds, and your Valentine will love it. Made in Asheville, N.C., Salted Caramel Popcorn from Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn makes a great gift that can be shared (wink, wink).  

Plus 2. Flower of the Month Bracelets - You can always say it with flowers, especially ones that never fade. Flower of the Month Bracelets come in a variety of floral designs to mark each month. They make great keepsakes for birthdays or those special life events you'd like to commemorate for all the loves in your life.  

Plus 3. Atom Sling – The Atom Sling from Patagonia is a thoughtful gift. At 8 liters, it’s just the right size for essentials and has a separate zippered pocket on the strap to stow your valuables. The unique design allows access without having to take it off, and its teardrop shape keeps it close to your body when navigating crowded spaces. And there’re lots of colors!  

Start planning now for a Happy Valentine’s Day! 

join catalog mailing list tell me more