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February 1998 Issue
by Ronda L. Halpin
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A Book of Love Letters

If you're the kind of person who takes great pains to present your beloved with cards, letters, and special notes, Valentine's Day can give you the opportunity to present them with flair. Giving a scrapbook filled with those tender mementos of your love is not only sentimental, it's smart. If you use plastic photo corners (such those manufactured by Fiskars), your partner will be able to remove a card or letter, read over it, and replace it without any worries. If your collection of such items hasn't had a lot of time to grow, place a couple of "starters" in the album and include a new card with some heartfelt words in it.

Choosing an appropriate scrapbook should truly be a labor of love. You can buy a simple album from a department store and decorate it with your love's favorite things. If money is tight, a binder with colored paper can do wonders if properly decorated. For those with the desire and ability, there are many shops that specialize in photo albums and scrapbooks. Find what's right for your special someone and fill it with memories. Make sure you leave room for new ones!

The Valentine's Tree

For the unique person in your life, a Valentine's tree could present a new surprise. This is an idea that I got from my mother. Both she and my father kept many of the valentines they exchanged when they were young. One year, my mother made a special effort to keep our Christmas tree fresh well past Christmas (we always had a real one). When Valentine's Day approached, we replaced the ornaments and multi-colored lights with strings of white and red lights and carefully chosen valentines that she had been keeping. It sounds like a funny idea, but the tree really was beautiful. In a day and age when many people have artificial trees, I would think this gift could become more common!

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

Almost everyone has gathered together photographs that capture precious moments in their lives. Why not take advantage of it? Putting together a special album filled with memorable photos can be fun and rewarding, especially when you do it for someone you love.

Of course, you should include photos of you as a couple, but don't forget the power that a forgotten picture from childhood has. If you feel very creative, you can arrange the photos so that they tell a story. Make sure it's a happy one! And remember to leave a little room for new photographs.

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