Simple ideas for Valentine’s

Love should be in the air, but with all the storms and a deep-seated feeling of winter there seems to be a tangible pall hanging in the air instead.

This will just not do. With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, it seems fated for us to be able to do something about it.

While many see Valentine’s as a commercial holiday, its roots are centuries old and shrouded in mystery. Some believe it was begun to honor a Patron Saint, Valentine, from the third century in Rome.

With many other theories of how Valentine’s Day began, there is one theme on which they all agree, the man for whom Valentine’s Day was named was a heroic humanitarian who cut a romantic figure. These are characteristics that we can all aspire to.

So this year I challenge all of you to get out and spread some love this February 14. This task doesn’t have to cost you a lot or require you to follow the usual route.

If you like the traditional and would prefer a quick, simple way to bring smiles, the boxed set of small, classroom-styled cards could be the way to go. Take some time to make them more personal. Try adding curling ribbon with double-sided tape and you can than stick on a piece of wrapped chocolate, like a Hershey Kiss, for a sweet treat. Hand them out to your friends, co-workers, clients, your gas-station attendant. You don’t have to know someone to spread the joy.

All your needed supplies (along with everything Valentine’s Day related) can be found at Mardell’s Gift Shop, Shirley’s, or Cronig’s Market in Vineyard Haven, Rose Bud’s in Oak Bluffs, and Stop & Shop in Edgartown, to name a few crafty stores.

Having people over for the Super Bowl? Perhaps the non-sports-enthusiasts will want to collect bottle caps for a fun project, Sparkling Magnets. You will need to choose some small magnets to glue onto the top of the bottle cap and some glitter glue, along with some fun beads to decorate the inside of the cap.

There are numerous options on-Island to collect your supplies. Beadnik’s in Vineyard Haven is a dream place for beads from all over the world. Once there, you might even be inspired to make your own project, maybe making friendship bracelets or love-inspired key rings for everyone. Educomp in Vineyard Haven, DaRosa’s in Oak Bluffs, and Granite in Edgartown all have great selections to help you make these great tokens of cheer. They all have card-stock paper that you could use to make your own Valentine cards. Valentine stickers or some coordinating stamps with ink will help you design one-of-a-kind cards.

For those of you older than 30, mixed tapes used to be a sign of adoration. Now people might get a special playlist from a thoughtful person. Why not head back in time and collect some of your favorite love songs, old R&B favorites, and compile them on a mixed CD? Above Ground Records in Edgartown is the place to go for help. Not only do they have new music, but they also have a phenomenal selection of retro/classic albums that will be sure to bring back fond memories. Choose your favorites, and pass them along with a little note of love.

Not in the mood to “create” but want to give a little something special to everyone you see? Chilmark Chocolates is now open Thursday through Sunday from 11:30 am to 5:30 pm. Who doesn’t love a homemade chocolate or piece of fudge? Buy a bunch of small bags to give away or get a large selection that you can separate out into your own gift bags. Make sure to pick some up for yourself, as they will close again on February 21 until the spring.

While in Chilmark, don’t miss out on your very special opportunity to buy your very own, Valentine-themed cards from Lisa Vanderhoop, wildlife photographer and designer of the Vineyard Seadogs Calendar. You will find seadogs along with other wildlife cards. Her cards are available for sale at the Sovereign Bank, which is across from the Community Center.

Hopefully I have inspired some creative thoughts in you, so you may get out and spread love to your friends, co-workers, neighbors, and anyone else you can think of.