L O V E. "Love makes the world go 'round".
And now abideth faith, hope, charity(love), these three;
but the greatest of these is charity (love). I Corinthians 13:13
Love can conquer fear and can stand alone. The absence of Love can leave a person lost and hopeless. But, the presence of love..."Ah, sweet mystery of life...". "Love is a many splendored thing...". "Love me tender...".
This is one easy holiday to meet head on, that is, if you have a brain in your head. Husbands and/or boyfriends, Do NOT believe her if she tells you, "Oh, just a card will do," in answer to your questions regarding what she might like for Valentine's Day (or, for that matter, Christmas, her birthday, your anniversary or any other gift-worthy day). You WILL regret it. Go straight to the jewelry store, the candy store and the flower shop, and don't hold back. This is NOT the day to be frugal. A good dinner out at a very nice restaurant would also score lots of points.
Ladies, your mission is slightly different; he probably won't give a rip about a card, so if he tells you that all he wants is a big ole bag of Jelly Belly© Jelly Beans, any flavor, then hop on in to your favorite candy shop and get him a large, mixed selection. If he asks for these jelly beans, Do NOT buy him artisan (read that expensive) chocolates or 'a potted plant' for his office.
Other gifts on this day can be onerous for some people, but it doesn't have to be. Grab a sponge, red tempera* paint, a pair of scissors and some card stock. If the sponge is stiff or dry, wet it then blot out as much of the water as you can. Then, cut out a free-form heart shape (if you don't trust your free-form abilities, then draw one on a piece of scrap paper, trace onto your sponge, then cut it out.
Once you have your sponge heart, dip it (light touch here) into the tempera paint and start heart stamping to your heart's content (try saying that fast 3 times). If you're going to stamp something wearable or anything that will go through the laundry, use a fabric-type* red paint; follow the directions so the paint will remain through washings. Different sizes of sponge hearts can produce a plethora of trims; a very small heart can 'dance' across some nice paper and the matching envelopes for a quick, thoughtful set of stationary. Do the 2-step around the hem of a T-Shirt, or an apron. A few hearts scattered onto white squares can dress up pot holders, tea towels, luncheons napkins, place mats or table runners. Your imagination is your only limitation.
Have fun with kids or the grands and help them make cards to give. Cover the entire room in 'industrial-grade' plastic drop cloths and let them display their crafty and artistic nature. They will have a blast with some of these heart sponges, but you know they will need a gallon of paint in at least 4 different colors. But, I digress. Red construction paper, white, silver and gold doilies, a quart of school glue, safety scissors and they're good to go.
This is a fun holiday to play around with any and all of your friends. No sweetheart on your horizon? So what??? Grab 3 of your besties, stir up a pot of soup, some grilled cheese sammy's and add a bottle of lovely red wine or mix up some Cosmo's. Make your own party, play cards of Scrabble© or put a puzzle together. Make your own fun.
One more thing: I love you in Spanish: te amo is probably 'text book' proper, but ordinary folks usually will say te quiero...and be sure to roll those 'rrrrr's, Baby!
Have a fun and happy Valentine's Day, whether you live in the country, or simply wish you did!
© 2013 Cat Brennan