We live in an age of electronic communication. We stay in touch with each other via e-mail, voicemail, texts, tweets, Facebook and YouTube, just to name a few ways. And in another nanosecond there's likely to be more. But if you want to send a message of love to special friends and family, an old-fashioned handmade valentine is the way to go.
Truth is, we've become so accustomed to connecting with one another electronically, a heart-y card, made by your own hand, is sure to stick out — in a good way. And a valentine need not be intended only for a spouse or partner. Think back to your grammar-school days, when valentines were shared with your classmates. One year, when I couldn't find the time to send out Christmas cards, I sent out valentines instead — to my entire holiday-card list. Make a list of special friends and family with whom you'd like to connect, and make them a card that says they're special or that simply says hello, and send it off for a Valentine's Day surprise.
"Handmade" doesn't have to mean time-consuming or difficult. One of my favorite valentines is a heart mobile, and you may be surprised at how simple it is to create. Begin with a heart pattern, which you cut from a piece of copy paper. Draw horizontal lines separating the heart into layers. Use the pattern to cut out a red and a pink heart and cut them into layers using the horizontal lines as guides. Begin at the bottom, fastening each pink and red layer together, trapping a long length of thread in the middle. Leave a quarter-inch between each layer in order to allow them to turn freely in a breeze. Leave an additional 6 to 12 inches of extra thread at the top before attaching a tag with your heartfelt message. Once completed, the heart layers will stack on top of each other, making it easy to drop the mobile into an envelope for mailing.
If you have any questions about the effectiveness of sending a heart mobile as a valentine, simply drop by the house of one of your valentine recipients to check it out. I'll bet your card is hanging around long after the lovely holiday is past.
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