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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Miss Shopanthropist's Global Love Letter.

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that has a strange and murky history. Nobody knows for sure how it began, but the two most common tales are rather interesting. Some believe it is based on the life of Saint Valentine who in third century Rome was ordered to be put be put to death by Emperor Claudius II for secretly performing marriages for young lovers after Claudius had outlawed marriage for young men – his crop of potential soldiers.
It has also been said that Valentine was put to death for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons. Either way you look at, this Saint Valentine was a truly noble man with love for his fellow human.
Others believe that Valentine’s Day is a Christian take on the Pagan holiday Lupercalia. Lupercalia, which commenced on February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus & Remus.
Whatever the factual history may be, this special holiday has simply become a day to love and be loved.
Now I’ll be honest, for much of my life I have been known as a scrooge over this holiday. I didn’t exactly possess that classic beauty that boys were looking for in a mate, so needless to say I was quite the wallflower when it came to meeting that special someone. However, as I’ve aged I have discovered that there are many different kinds of love in the world. Like the love we have for our children, our pets, our families, our neighbors, our colleagues & so on. That is how I learned that Valentine’s Day does not have to be a dreadful day of loneliness. To me it has become a day to share my heart with each and every person who inspires me. And it doesn’t stop there; Valentines can be shared with more than just loved ones. We have quite powerful hearts and we can extend our love to the earth, to animals, and people all over the globe. So this year I challenge you to change your mindset about this holiday and join me as a thoughtful consumer by transforming your online gift shopping into a global love letter.
There are so many fun and unique online retailers that you can reach through that can help you find the perfect gift for loved ones young and old while helping you support the non-profit organization’s that are dear to your heart.
I’ve put together a collection of some of the coolest online stores to find really standout gifts….
Rather than red roses, try a more exotic flower like the orchid. It’s such an elegant flower and with potted plants you will be giving a gift that will last much longer than fresh cut flowers.
It’s no secret that women adore diamonds but another thing they really love is jewelry that reflects their love of art and beauty. These few pieces from are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. They have fresh concepts with striking craftsmanship.
Both and provide irresistibly fine foods and kitchen goods that are sure to deliver a promising evening of indulgent romance. Few things are more enjoyable than spending the evening cooking an unforgettable meal with the love of your life. The time you spend working together in the kitchen, while sharing hopes and dreams together creates priceless memories. Here are some delicious gifts that will sweep your sweetheart of his/her feet….
The items below from are definitely not your common Valentines gift’s, but who says you can’t give a fabulous pannini grill or wine saver to the person you love? Gifts like this have a creative edge and they are fun for both of you.
At you will find a wide variety of mouthwatering specialty foods. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but guess what fellas – the same goes for women. Most women wouldn’t admit it but trust me – if you lay out a fancy spread of gourmet cheeses, succulent meats, and that perfect bottle of wine….she’ll be eating out of your hand quite literally.
To finish off your romantic meal it helps to surprise her with a treat. But why settle for basic chocolates like every other Joe Schmoe out there when you can send her over the top with these mini cupcake chocolates. Each one is filled with a sophisticated ganache in three different flavors – champagne, strawberry, and passion fruit.
The gift giving doesn’t stop there. What about the kids, and the family pet? I happen to be quite the expert in gift giving with children and teens so here are a few ideas to help you earn the mom or dad of the year award….
At you will find one of the coolest toys I have ever seen, it’s called the “Muppet WhatNot”. Much like the concept of Build-A-Bear, the Muppet WhatNot is a fully customizable Muppet doll. The little ones will go crazy over this!! Here’s an example of two possible dolls your child can create….
And for the teens in your life? Girls are simple, all it takes is a fabulous new pair of shoes or some real quality make-up but you might want to go for a gift card on this one. It’s better to let the young ladies choose those items on their own, and it gives them an opportunity to do some shopping which secretly ends up being a second gift. Here are two great retailers to shop from….
Teen boys can actually be a tad bit trickier to shop for. However, there is one thing that every boy has in common – they all want to be rock stars!! Guitar Center can help them get started….
The 1974 Fender Stratocaster: quite possibly the most popular electric guitar ever.
There is also the Ludwig Junior drum set, perfect for blossoming percussionists – if you can handle the noise.
Finally, if you have a pet don’t forget to show it some extra love.  They are always there for us when we get home from a hard days work and they love us unconditionally. Shouldn’t we show them the same devotion? There is a huge selection of goodies available for pets these days, but the leopard print chaise pictured below is my absolute favorite item, currently sold at Petco. It’s pure luxury for our furry friends.
I wish all of you the most beautiful Valentines Day in 2010. May your hearts be filled with endless love. Remember, this is a day for everyone….even the lonely. You can make an enormous difference in somebody’s life by simply showing them that you think of them….no matter how big or small your gifts may be.
As my Valentine gift to you I’d like to share with you my secret weapon for bringing joy to every person I see and meet. It starts with a motto – “Smile on, pass it on”. It’s very simple, just smile at every person you see and chances are they will feel special inside. They will take that joy you gave them and pass it on with a smile to the next person they see….and so on….and so on. These days a smile can go a VERY long way.