February 14, 2004

(c) Joan-Marie Moss February 2004

BASIC HOUSEKEEPING

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YOU'RE SPECIAL!!                                                                                                                                    Hearts

Each holiday has it's special place in our lives. And Valentine's Day is not any different.

We remember those cute cards exchanged in the school playground or passed from desk to desk in the classroom and tiny candy hearts shared between friends and wanna-be friends - each carefully selected for the message it bore. These are still enjoyed by our youngsters. Walgreens still carries these prized items.

Then we grew up. Lovers and wanna-be lovers traded those simple pleasures for heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and bouquets of fresh-cut flowers. Some even went as far as expensive candlelight dinners, jewelry and diamond rings.

I just read a sad commentary in this week's Crain's Chicago Business that said US Consumers are expected to spend $12.79 Billion on Valentine's Day gifts this year "up 23% from last year". The article went on to say that "Men see Valentine's Day as a test. And they fear they're flunking."

Wow! That's pretty significant growth in an economy that's trying to pull itself out of the doldrums. And it's a very sad commentary on what's happening to our values.

Let's not forget what is Valentine's Day is really all about! It's not the gifts and cards that are important. It's a day when even the most jaded among us can feel more comfortable telling those who are near and dear that they're special...A day when, horrors, people can use those three little words "I love you" without being overly self-conscious.

If you can afford to buy the expensive gifts and candlelight dinners of the rich and famous for your loved one. Great! But what if you can't?

Just remember it's the thought that counts. It's the simple words "I love you" and "You're Special" that are treasured most. It doesn't matter if they're whispered or written on a brown paper bag. Don't forget to say - and mean - the words! 

Here at CreativeOptions.com each one of you is very special. This is one site and one newsletter that has no purpose other than to serve you and give you the information and tools you need. We welcome your email and your feedback. Thank you for being you!! Each one of you, our readers, are very, very special.

Now, that being said, have you remembered to tell those who are near and dear how important they are to you? If not, don't despair, there's still time...and it doesn't mean you have to hustle your behinder out to the nearest gift shop. There are some truly delightful alternatives on the internet. You can start with a simple card and a personal message. A quick search on Google will bring up a selection of 113,000 sites that offer free virtual Valentine cards. Here are a few alternatives for you to choose from:

http://www.hallmark.com/Website/hk_ecards_cards.html?lid=HPA3
http://www.riversongs.net/val.html
http://rats2u.com/valentine/valentine_clipart.htm
http://www.all-yours.net/program/thumbs.ar?gal=val_gen1&sid=IUY1Z
http://www1.bluemountain.com/category.pd?path=35282
http://www.123greetings.com/
http://www.noahark.com/1/greeting/sweetheart.htm

Oh, and don't forget to tell your clients and customers, if you haven't already, that you do recognize that they are your reason for being. Tell them they're special, too (even the ones who are calling you to complain)!!

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Joan-Marie Moss                               
mailto:j-m@creativeoptions.com
Joan-Marie Moss & Associates, Ltd.      
http://www.creativeoptions.com
405 S. Home #201, Oak Park IL 60302    708-383-3065

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Revised 04/04/2005