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How to Write the Perfect Valentine

Friday, February 11th, 2011 by Stacy

I have mixed feelings about valentines. Here’s why:

A college friend’s boyfriend presented her with the creepiest Valentine’s Day gift ever: a clear wine bottle, label scrubbed off and replaced with his own charming creation entitled, “100 Mini Love Notes.” YES! This is true! Inside were…. one hundred itty bitty teeny weeny hand-inscribed love notes, lovingly folded into itsy bitsy cutsie little squares.

Blech! I would have broken up with this boy on the spot, I tell you. My friend, however, was thrilled. She proudly displayed the bottle of “100 Mini Love Notes” on her desk, truly believing this was the sweetest, most thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift ever created.

It’s all about knowing your audience, people.

That’s it! That’s the trick to writing the perfect valentine. So here’s what you do a few days before Valentine’s Day:

  1. Ask yourself, “Who do I love?” (This activity alone will make your week, I promise.)
  2. For each person on your list, ask, “What can I write that would make this person feel soooo loved by me?” (Answer: almost anything that shows you were sincerely thinking about this person.)
  3. Write a simple, heartfelt note of love and/or gratitude. Err on the conservative side—skip the “100 Mini Love Notes” treatment for anyone who might freak if you gave them something more elaborate. Like me. Or (thank god) my husband.
  4. Scribble it in your own eclectic chicken scratch, or make it totally gorgeous with swirly whirly letters—my little daughters are especially good at this—or go “secret admirer incognito” using lefty caps, but definitely hand-write your note.
  5. Decorate. Although the bottle of mini love notes gave me the heebie jeebies, I am totally into doilies and glitter and red construction paper—I actually stockpile them year-round. Have fun glamming up your valentine. (Actually, this part can be all about you). While you’re feeling crafty, make a few extra valentines with blank spaces for writing.
  6. Deliver before the recipients even have time to remember it’s  Valentine’s Day. For your best friend: ensure her valentine arrives the day before V-Day. For your family: is there anything better than a valentine on one’s pillow? Maybe chocolate and a valentine, alongside a yummy latte or hot chocolate? Then heart-shaped pancakes ringed in fresh strawberries for breakfast? (It’s all coming out now….)
  7. Don’t forget the mailman and the trash man and anyone else who happens to be at your house on Valentine’s Day. A little unexpected thank-you on Valentine’s Day goes such a long way. With all the love in your heart, and your fabulous organizational skills, and the extra valentines from #4, you will make new best friends right and left. Lord knows we all need more love in this world.

So, the truth is that my daughters and I have been making valentines for days (see above!). Just five minutes ago, I popped a few heavily doilied/glitter glued/smushy-gushy valentines in the mail. One for my mom and dad, one for my sister/BFF, three for special far-away friends. Two more are in my purse, ready to slip into friends’ mailboxes on Monday. I still have time to make the four special ones for my husband and daughters. Uggg! What has come over me? (Too much love.) The next thing you know, I’ll be scrubbing the label off a wine bottle and writing teeny tiny love notes….

runs the Content Bureau, @contentbureau.

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