Valentine’s Day Tips from the Etiquette Queen

Love on the shelf

With “love in the air”, there is nothing we love more than to have a Guest Post from Palm Beach County’s very own, Sherry Thomas.  (aka the Etiquette Queen).  

Ms. Thomas has given us some great tips to pass along for how to handle some Valentine’s Day situations with heart…and yes, of course, etiquette.  

She is America’s Etiquette & Image Expert-CEO of Palm Beach School of Etiquette & Life Skills.  For more info about her service and products, check out her website.

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is close at hand and this is a time when my mail begins to pick up a bit.  Men are confused about what to give.  Women are confused as to whether to reciprocate.  Many wait with baited breath to see what Cupid delivers, if she delivers anything at all.  It is the time when chocolates and roses fly off the shelves and heart-shaped necklace sales soar.  It’s a time when a secret love finally summons the courage to profess his feelings behind the safety net of a secret valentine. 

This special holiday is a wonderful occasion for the entire family to sit at a table and let the creative juices flow with gift ideas for each other, for classmates, for friends, and of course, for girlfriends and boyfriends.  

A few little Etiquette Guidelines and Ideas from the @EtiquetteQueen:

Careful when giving chocolates that contain nuts. Remember your love’s allergies. Don’t let the packaging lure you.  It is easy to overlook the ingredients nestled inside that tempting, beautiful heart-shaped box. 

If giving anonymously, fess up a few days later. The suspense will drive her crazy and through a process of polling friends and “guesses”, ultimately someone else may get credit for your good deed. 

A homemade Valentine or a heart-shaped collage of fond memories and events is a great way to show your love. Place each photo inside a home-made heart frame made of felt or colored paper and add all to a piece of posterboard or photo mat.

Your Valentine doesn’t like chocolate?  No worries – chocolate covered strawberries are a great alternative! This is one of my personal favorites.

Start a trend. Give a heart-shaped charm bracelet.  On each subsequent Valentine’s, add another heart each engraved with that year. 

A homemade bookmark with a cut-out heart (add your photo inside) is a great gift for readers and easy to make!  (Don’t forget to mark the year!)

Children’s Idea: Take plain white sneakers and adorn with red hearts, sequins, glitter. Add red shoelaces and voila!

Have a contest!  Tie-dye plain white tee shirts in various colors of red and pick a Valentine winner. 

Heart-shaped shells

Play a game! Have the kids search for heart shaped rocks or, if near a beach, heart-shaped shells.

Red rosette bouquets are beautiful!  Use red crepe paper. Cut into 24” length strips. Fold each strip down 1/3” from the top and gently roll using your pointer and index fingers until you have formed a perfect little rosette.  Use a drop of hot glue at the very end to secure and apply the rosettes one by one onto a round styrofoam floral ball.

Be different.  Give her a variety of roses this year, but make sure that the red is prominent. After all, it is Valentine’s. 

Red means love.
Purple means love at first sight.
Yellow means friendship.
Pink means appreciation and thank you. 

Send a secret message. Squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon into a bowl. Dip a toothpick or stylus into the juice (this serves as your invisible ink) and write a message onto a piece of construction paper or write various messages onto multi-colored cut out roses or hearts.  Next, instruct your Valentine to hold the hidden message over a light bulb or candle to read.  (Caution: Do not let kids do this! They may burn themselves.)

As for those flowers, roses have thick stems and will die quickly if not given tender, loving care.  Below are a few tips to extend their longevity.  If your flowers still bend, droop and die well before they should, this probably means that they have been out of the soil for too long and are suffering from lack of nutrients.  Make sure that you order from a reputable florist so as not to be embarrassed! 

Care For Your Roses:

Keep them refrigerated until ready for delivery.
Cut the stems at an angle. This allows the maximum amount of water to reach the blooms.
Trim stems and change the water every 3-4 days.
Place the roses into a clean container.  One that hasn’t been cleaned properly will accumulate bacteria and harm the flowers.
Use warm water – not hot, not cold.  Warm water is absorbed better.
Yes, it’s true. You add sprite or 7-Up to the water as each contains sugar. Or, just simply add a little well- dissolved sugar to the water.
Keep roses in a cool area away from harsh sunlight.