I was just preparing for V-Day myself when I disovered the tips I will be copying in below. I have decided to follow the author's advice to "think outside the box" to the letter this year and see where it leads me. Here goes:
"Instead of sending out the same generic Valentines as everyone else, why not add your own personal touch this year with personalized greeting cards?"
By golly, yes. What could be more romantic and appropriate? I think I shall do just that!
"Here are three ways to inject a little personality into your custom Valentine's greeting cards this year:
1. Choose a thoughtful theme for the card. Typical store-bought Valentine's Day cards feature hearts, flowers and happy couples, but when you're designing your own cards, you can think outside of the box. Try choosing something that will be especially poignant for the recipient. Choose something that matches his or her interests; for example, an animal lover might respond to a picture of a beloved pet, while a sports fan will respond to an homage to their favorite team."
OK: something poignant to the recipient; something that matches his interests. Hm... what are his interests actually? Let me just think... Uh-huh.... uh-huh. Yup. OK. Got it. And this is definitely going to be "outside the box". Next tip, please:
"2. Next, decide on a special message for the card. Instead of a simple "Happy Valentine's Day," you can let your imagination run wild. Keep in mind that this message will help set the tone of the card, so consider your audience and choose your words accordingly. Pick a phrase that will communicate the depth of your love."
Ah, good point. Let me just consider my audience for a few moments as I choose my words... Hm, how best to communicate the depth of .... OK, got it. Phew, this is going to be so romantic. And yet so thoughtful and sincere, too. (These really are excellent tips.)
"3. Remember, when you're designing greeting cards for loved ones, it's hard to go wrong. Just let your love be your guide, and you're sure to create something that conveys your feelings far more accurately than anything you could buy in a store."
Well that's good to know, isn't it? Can't go wrong. Gosh, Readers, I'm so happy, knowing that by following these simple tips, I can now go and create a card that will truly warm the cockles of my Valentine's heart.
And here is the result:
(For those of you who don't speak German and wish to understand the inscription on the gingerbread heart, "Schneckerl" means "small snail". The word to which it is hyphenated is, I assume, fairly self-explanatory. Now I did intend to explain a lot more about the linguistic intricacies of the phrase "Anal-Schneckerl" at this point, but you know what? Having just translated it literally into English in my head and imagined the resultant puzzlement, I've just realised how much more fun it is if I just let this incomplete annotation stand.)