Debt Reduction

Having said that …

Here are a couple ideas for Valentine’s Day on the cheap:

1) Screw Hallmark. When was the last time that you received a correspondence that wasn’t a text message or an email? When was the last time that you received a genuine, bonafide letter? When was the last time you received a love letter? The art of the love letter is pretty much lost on today’s generation when the phrase “UR so butiful” will suffice as an expression of love.

Last year, I wrote Future Husband a love letter to celebrate our first Valentine’s Day living together and it was basically a list of all of the things that I loved about him. I was going to recreate it this year, but I’ve been writing RFPs all week at the full-time job, so my brain is sufficiently tapped of genuine ideas. So I did buy him a card, but I’m just sayin’ … put down the card that you can record your voice on. Go home and put pen to paper.

2) Get your Food Network on. In my family, food has always equaled love. My mama loves me, hence when I come to her house for a visit there is a veritable smorgasbord of all of my favorite childhood foods – meatloaf, mashed potatoes, biscuits … you get the idea.

This year, I don’t feel like cooking, but if the muse moved me, I could produce a simple pudding pie for FH and he would think that I walked on water. (Pudding Pie: Buy a graham cracker crust, make the Jell-O pudding acc’d to the directions on the box – there should be a special method for pudding pie, spoon Jell-O into crust, top with whipped topping, shave some chocolate on top and … you’re done. Dessert in a matter of minutes. Sometimes we let the pudding set, sometimes we don’t – we’re impatient that way.)

Looking for ideas? The Internet is full of them! And right now it seems like all cooking sites are featuring recipes from easy to gourmet to create a special dinner for your honey. Some sites I’d recommend are www.recipezaar.com; www.allrecipes.com – also check out the sites for Kraft Foods and Pillsbury. They have all sorts of shortcuts for “homemade” food, fast.

3) Do something nice for the person that you love. Notice that I say “do” and not “buy.” I think I know what would really make my Future Husband happy this Valentine’s Day – and it doesn’t involve lingerie or singing Tom Jones songs in his ear. If I cleaned and organized the kitchen cupboards that I haphazardly throw my pots and pans in, I think he’d weep with happiness. If I cleaned my office, that man would marry me – oh wait, he’s already doing that.

Is there a project that your loved one has mentioned but hasn’t had time to tackle? What’s more romantic than spending time together? No, cleaning out the laundry room in the basement is not your typical Valentine’s Day, but typical is boring.

4) Tell someone that you love them. It doesn’t matter if you’re married or engaged; single or a kid … to quote one of my favorite Blues Brothers’ songs “everybody needs somebody to love.” And tomorrow I’ll probably call up my mom and dad, I’ll send out emails to some loved ones, send a text message to my 13-year-old nephew (he just loves it when he gets “I love you” messages from his auntie), tell my cat and tell Future Husband. And no – I don’t need a holiday to tell people that I love them, but this is something that everyone can do.

I hope you all have a good Valentine’s Day.

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