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Saturday, February 14, 2009

DIY Valentine's Day - It's Not Too Late

So, Valentine's Day is not my favorite holiday, being, as it is, a commercial-fest of consumerism, blah-blah ... you know all the arguments about how the greeting card companies make us feel bad if we're not part of the celebration in order to amp up our holiday spending. I felt a little discouraged seeing the last-minute shoppers cruising Kroger, trying to find something - FAST - for that special someone. They were even selling plates of cheese pre-cut into hearts. I might find myself questioning someone who doesn't have time to cut heart-shaped cheese themselves (there's a joke in there somewhere, but I just can't get it.)

Luckily, the tough economy, according to this NPR story, has led more people to make their own holiday gifts and cards. That seems more meaningful than the plate of heart-shaped brie - unless your sweetie really loves cheese. Even though it's late in the day, there's still time to DIY for your loved ones. Here are a few ideas (and at the end of the post, find an alternative to Valentine's Day)



I absolutely love these Anatomically-correct Hearts from cheekymagpie.com. Just click the link for the template.

I traced the template onto craft paper and cut it out. Then you just fold it in half and you get a lovely, 3-dimensional heart. All-in-all, it takes about 5 minutes and looks gorgeous.

An inspiring quotation makes a nice addition to your card. You can find some great quotations about love here, at Wisdom Quotes. These are great because they aren't the same ol', same ol'. Gotta love any site that includes Albert Einstein in its page on love.

Now, I haven't tried Nigella Lawson's Valentine cupcakes, but I listened to her describe them on NPR yesterday, and I definitely mean to. Make them for a sweetie with a sweettooth. The chocolate cherry ones sound especially tasty, and quick to make. I also like the way Nigella describes how the competitive world of boarding school produced in her a "lofty detachment" toward the holiday. You go, Nigella!

Mix-tapes are a traditional gift from one disturbed teen to another. For you music lovers, check out the iTunes store. The "Essentials - Crazy Love" mix contains all the stories of whacked out romance you can handle, including "Stan" by Eminem, "Ben" by Michael Jackson, and "Under My Thumb" by the Rolling Stones. Get it for someone you stalk.

Finally, for those of you singletons who are perfectly content to be single, check out International Quirkyalone Day. This holiday, to quote the website, is: "a do-it-yourself celebration of romance, friendship, and independent spirit. It's a celebration of all kinds of love: romantic, platonic, familial, and yes, self-love. International Quirkyalone Day is not anti-Valentine's Day. It's NOT a pity party for single people. It's an alternative--a feel-good alternative to the marketing barrage of Valentine's Day and an antidote to the silicone version of love presented in shows such as Hooking Up and The Bachelor."

And who can't find the love for that?

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