Heart smart

A funny thing about the hoopla surrounding Valentine’s Day is that many people couldn’t care less. Common complaints accuse the holiday of being commercialized, over-indulgent and stressful. Taking the position of conscientious objector on the Valentine front, however, may lead to consequences of pink and red proportions.

Whatever your stance pertaining to our national day of love, here are some suggestions to help ease you into – or out of – a successful Valentine’s Day.

Can’t buy me love

According to the National Retail Federation, American lovebirds are expected to spend more than $14.1 billion on Valentine’s gifts this year.

Sentimental tokens don’t necessarily have to hurt your wallet. A mixed-CD, for example, is both personal and economical. Likewise, thanks to the digital era in which we live, composing a pictorial tribute to your relationship on your computer is a snap.


Other ideas include a thoughtfully-written letter or card, a home-cooked meal comprised of your partner’s favorite foods, or even take the minimalist approach with a single red rose.

One is (not necessarily) the loneliest number

There's no rule stating couples have a monopoly on Valentine’s Day. Showing appreciation for friends and family is a perfectly valid reason to celebrate the holiday.

Consider rounding up the single people in your social circle and host a party that will make your attached friends jealous. Suggest that guests come as they are with a morsel to share. Eat, drink and be — independently — merry.

Love stinks

There’s one in every crowd. You know, the person who reviles Valentine’s Day with such fervor that the likeness of Cupid has been painstakingly painted on the basement dart board. If you just nodded your head in recognition, you may be one of those people whose hatred of this particular holiday knows no bounds.

In recent years, certain retailers have begun catering to the anti-Valentine’s Day crowd. One can send an e-card, for instance, that gives the recipient a chance to bow-hunt Cupid. More direct detractors may be even drawn to clothing marketed toward fellow cynics.

Just the two of us


Finally, there’s the people for whom Valentine’s Day seems especially designed: couples. While a night on the town for dinner and drinks seems like a safe option, consider celebrating one another in a slightly more specialized manner.

Anyone who has been anywhere near a restaurant on Feb. 14 knows that without a reservation, couples tend to spend more time waiting for a table than sitting at one. Avoid the crowds by either ordering take-out or tossing together a no-fuss meal at home. Throw in a bottle of wine and a blanket on the floor and you’ve created the perfect ambiance for celebrating the true meaning of Valentine’s Day: love.

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