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A few thoughts on the upcoming Valentine's holiday

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For those who like to plan ahead, this article may be helpful. If you prefer to wait until the last minute, (like you did with Christmas), or if you don't celebrate Valentine's Day, this article will be nothing more than a few moments of whimsical escape.

So onto planning ahead. Money is always a factor. As our middle class continues to shrink and people living at or below the poverty line increases, few of us have money to do anything but survive. If that is your situation, you and your sweetie could do a few different things. Watching a movie at home and popping your own corn while cuddling on the couch can be romantic. And if you can possibly swing it, buy a candle. Warm oil baths, massages and making love are also options. Bath oils are relatively inexpensive and your lover better not be charging you.

If you do have a few extra bucks, now you have the luxury of choices and personal preferences. Let's say you still enjoy listening and talking to your partner. Then romantic dining at an elegant restaraunt is a perfect selection. You can gaze lovingly into each other's eyes while you nibble on filet mignon. If you need a break from all the talking and listening, then going to a movie is a perfect option. For one and a half to three hours you can be in the company of your sweetie without having to say a word. In fact you will probably get chastised if you do talk. It isn't too often in life that you can fulfill an obligation and escape at the same time.

And just a few brief comments on gift giving for Valentine's Day. Homemade cards are from-the-heart and again, if you are poor, very inexpensive. Candy and flowers are quaintly traditional but of course, way overpriced. Lingerie has also become somewhat traditional. Probably because so many people assume they are going to get sex on this holiday. And if you want to continue along this line of thinking...glow-in-the-dark condoms are a possible gift idea. If you have a creative mind, you will come up with gift ideas that wow your partner. If you haven't had a creative spark since you were 4, the flower and candy shoppes adore you.

However you decide to observe this holiday, keep it real. Engage in activities and give gifts that come from your heart. After all, you make a daily decision to be with your partner so let Valentine's Day be a reminder that you continue to make a beautiful choice.

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