Sandy sure has the right idea. It isn't how much you spend on
your sweetie, it's what you say and how you say it.
Of course, not everyone uses Sandy's methods. A trip to the
FTD.com website offers a dozen roses (their cheapest bouquet) for $40.98
including the service charge. And, according to the Greeting Card Association,
only Christmas generates more greeting cards than Valentine's Day. It's
estimated that we'll spend over $350 million on candy the week before
Valentine's Day. Wow! That's a lot of love!
But chances are that Sandy made a bigger impression than any box
of candy would have. That's because her gift emphasized what they shared
Creating the perfect gift is a matter of thinking about the
person who will be receiving it. One way to create a successful, frugal
valentine is to highlight something special in your past. Begin by taking some
time to think. Pull out your memories instead of your wallet. What were your
partner's happiest moments? Are there special events or secrets that you share?
Finding a way to commemorate that time or event is the fun part.
You don't need to be very good with words to write a love letter or poem. It's
the memory that you trigger that's important. Not your choice of words or
whether the poem rhymes. Trust me, you won't get a 'D' on this assignment!
Another possibility would be to celebrate all the things you
love about that special someone. Everyone likes to hear good things about
themselves. And, who better to tell them than someone they love.
You can present those thoughts in a variety of ways. Anything
from a recorded message to a series of notes that your valentine will stumble
across during the course of their day. Again, eloquence isn't necessary. You can
be pretty sure that your grammar won't be critiqued.
Some events can be recreated. Return to the spot of that special
picnic or lovers' lane. Or listen again to the music that you shared before.
Just one or two elements from a special time will rekindle wonderful memories.
A second way to create a memorable valentine is to use the
element of surprise. Most of us have an expectation of when, where and how we'll
receive our valentine gift. Surprising your partner is an inexpensive way to add
Lunches offer a wonderful opportunity. If you typically prepare
the lunch, it's easy to do something special for your valentine. Their favorite
foods, heart shaped sandwiches, candy kisses or a special note are all
inexpensive. Even if you don't prepare the lunch, sometimes you have the
opportunity to get to the lunch box before it heads out the door.
Sometimes you can spread your surprise out over a number of
days. For instance, you could deliver flowers one at a time. Or send a poem one
line at a time. If you both have email at work you could send one line every
half hour until the poem was completed. You might even want to start a day or
two before Valentine's Day and take days to complete the message.
Another possibility is to give that special someone a 'heart
attack'. No, not where you call 911. Rather, a flood of hearts in their car,
bedroom or office. Simply cut out or print dozens of paper hearts. Overwhelm
So, like Sandy, don't be afraid to avoid the expensive flowers,
cards and candy. A little thought and effort could create the best way to say "I
love you." Why not do something memorable for that special someone this
Gary Foreman edits The Dollar Stretcher.com
website and newsletters. If you'd like more time and money you'll find hundreds
of articles to help you stretch your dollar and your day.