Valentine's Day Planning and Gift-Giving Strategies

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In fourth grade, Raymond Jones broke my nine-year-old heart into itty-bitty pieces when he wrote, "No" in response to my "Will You Be Mine?" valentine. Playmates and teachers who told me that this meant Raymond really liked me left me feeling that boys were cowardly and love was stupid. It took learning three aspects of love — Eros, Agape and Philos — for me to embrace Valentine's Day again. Ancient wisdom taught me how to give the gift of love and attract it. Something here is sure to fit into your love and romance shopping style. Give it a try this Valentine's Day.

Eros is defined as love driven by libido and desire. It's the traditional way that love is depicted, celebrating sensual and carnal inclinations. Call on all your senses when shopping, especially if a lover is the object of your affection.

A tasty gift like silky chocolate from Godiva Chocolatier, all-American classic Hershey's, or even gourmet jelly beans from Jelly Belly Online will get a toothsome welcome if your amore likes sweets. Tickle your beloved's nose with romantic fragrance or deliver a bouquet of wild flowers, daffodils, or a single rose bud. Fresh flowers and a favorite fragrance are romantic classics that never fail to delight. delivers fresh cut flowers of many varieties and combinations.

Dazzle your lover with a gift wrapped in that distinctive shade of blue from Tiffany & Co. View a sample of Valentine Ideas such as the diamond line bracelet — once known as the tennis bracelet — called the Victoria line bracelet, with diamonds set in platinum selling here for $22,800. A few clicks away is an Elsa Peretti double open-heart bangle in sterling for $175.

Ring a note of tranquillity and harmony by making a gift of a small musical instrument such as a flute, or home decorations like chimes or the water fountains from the popular Homedics line for under $50.

Check out eBay auctions — where their "Ultimate Romantic Gifts" include vacation getaways, art and estate jewelry — if you're looking for something unique.

Singles, concoct your own love potions! still does brisk traffic, proclaiming over 3 million registrants with thousands more joining daily. Or take the initiative and break the ice with that cutie you've been flirting with at the latte bar by signing on to eCrush and finding out if she's available.

Agape — pronounced ah-GAA-pay — can be called divine or godly love. Affirm the soul and spirit of your lover by making a gift with religious or spiritual significance. Symbols of cultural or religious faith demonstrate your respect for your lover's beliefs. If the merchandise from your favorite jeweler doesn't inspire, check out the Religious Jewelry Store. Snap up social and environmentally friendly gifts, such as Sensual Bath and Massage Oil ($11 for 4.2 oz.), for your sweetheart at your local Body Shop. Making a donation in their name to the charity or house of worship that your loved one respects is all in the spirit of Agape.

Philos, the root of philosophy and philanthropy, is arguably the love that keeps it all together. It's love of family and our fellow human beings. At, a special Valentine's Day link gives tips for keeping that loving feeling with activities and crafts for the whole family. Explore the romantic ups and downs of love by clicking onto "From the Sandbox to First Love" at, where a child perspective on romantic development and understanding gets a lot of attention.

Traditional e-Cards are fun and efficient and great for dashing out last minute Valentine's Day messages. Popular favorites are Blue Mountain, or

Whimsical and funny sites for lighthearted love are VirtualKiss, — the web site for Loveland, Colo. — and Heart City, the web site for Valentine, Neb.

Fill out the profile and get electronic help with your gift buying at or Perfect Present Picker.

Valentine's Day is a good time to remember that heartache and heartbreak may be a fact of life, but it need not be the last act of love.