The many options depend on the degree of love

A.M. Costa Rica photos/Kayla Pearson
Marineth Alpizar at Floristeria Doña Grace sells individual roses for 2,000, and a dozen for 18,000 colons
Marjoné Yargos at Crazy Puppies said the teddy bear is the best seller and most people spend about 5,000 colons.

Thursday, Valentines Day, also is known as the day of roses, chocolates, jewelry and negliges.

Retailers have already taken advantage of the holiday by placing up signs for two-for-one specials and discounts that range from 20 to 60 percent depending on how much a person buys. Sales clerks are strategically placed in the pedestrian walkway with merchandise in hand to help advise both lovers and friends on the perfect gift.

The perfect gift depends on the level of relationship. In Costa Rica, the day is called Dia del Amor y la Amistad, encompassing not just romantic relationships but also friendships. Children create cards for their amigos, and some schools hold competitions where each class creates a card to sell for a small price. The class that raises the most money wins a prize, said one mother.

Young persons will update their Facebook status tagging all the friends they love, and send text messages with gushy words or song lyrics about the beauty and significance of the recipient.

Those bitten by the love bug will shower their significant other with balloons, teddy bears and chocolates. This also works for those in new relationships, who are under the stress of wondering what to buy that will make them
not seem too clingy too soon.

Creative valentines can create homemade cards, poems or songs with lyrics about how the object of their affection’s beauty radiates like the Costa Rican paradisal lands, eye’s glitter like the crystal ocean water, voice rings as beautiful as the tropical birds sing or smile shines brighter than the newly risen sun. In the age of social media, these notes can be uploaded to a blog page or performed on a YouTube page for the world to see.

For added awe factor, one can sign the message “From your Valentine,” consistent with the legend of Saint Valentine who wrote a letter to his love before he was executed for unlawfully performing marriages to young couples and signed it with the same ending.

Many persons in the capital said their ideal date was a trip to the beach, and with hotels and tour companies offering special packages this is a feasible option. One could have breakfast at sunrise to symbolize the awakening of love or a sunset dinner proposal to show the end of the dating phase and the beginning of lives together.

Plus, the colorfulness of a Costa Rican sunset makes a perfect backdrop to drop to one knee, then lift her up, hug and kiss at the delight of a yes response.

Cindy and Seidy from the Fraiche Fragrace store
were outside passing out “Love” fragrance
samples. They sell the sets for 6,000 colons.

Lovers who like to think out of the box and prove that their love is out of the world, can take a note from a French man who will be the first to ask his girlfriend to marry him via a space balloon.

Professionals in space exploration will attach a picture of the couple and the message “Vanessa, will you marry me?” to a giant helium-filled balloon and released into the sky. The whole thing will be recorded and edited for the man to later play for his girlfriend, a release said.

If money restriction forbids this option, one can always go for the choice of naming a star after his fiancée.

Then comes the hardest presents of all, the ones that go to the relationships that have withstood the test of time. If money is no object, a lavish diamond jewelry set, beach house and yacht are a good places to start.

This also may be a good time to show dedication to a cause. The Humane Society is offering persons the chance to donate to animal welfare as a gift. Persons can save a street dog by providing money for vaccinations, make a statement against bullfighting or donate to campaigns to end animal testing or end dog fighting in Costa Rica. These options and more are available HERE!

Another option will be the Have a Heart charity golf tournament to be held Thursday at the Hacienda Pinilla golf course. Proceeds go toward education.

Just a few of the many items donated for the silent auction include a round trip JetBlue airfare from Liberia to New York, a three-night mini-vacation at the JW Marriott Guanacaste, hotel stays, spa treatments, adventure tours and dinners at the best restaurants in town, said spokespersons. “Also don’t miss our big raffle prize of a 42″ Samsung flat-screen TV. This year Amigos de la Educacion has granted scholarships to four university students, eight high school students, and five bilingual grade school students,” they said.

Yet nothing beats a Latin American night out of dancing the salsa and tango after an exquisite dinner. Costa Rica is full of night clubs and restaurants, and for concert goers the national stadium will host Mexican brother and sister duo Jesse & Joy as well as Kany Garcia and Costa Rican artists Escats and Xiomara.

Before the evening, it could be a good idea to warm things up with a gift from Chocolarte de Costa Rica, an artistic bakery that has special cupcakes and chocolates designed specifically for Valentines Day. They also take ideas from the customer and can make custom cakes for the day, said the cashier.

And finally, those adults who are single or looking for a gift for a platonic friend, the bookstores have stocked the entrances with the bestseller “Fifty Shades of Gray,” which has been rumored to be a steamy read. Just a warning, however, this gift should be given with caution.

Other Valentine’s Day events:

The municipality of Nicoya, Guanacaste, will have a celebration for families and friends in the canton. Organizers have planed a series of activities designed to bring family unity and healthy recreation.

The Cruz Roja en La Gloria de Puriscal will have a benefit dance Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Salón Comunal on the north side of the Cruz Roja building. DJ Nacho and animator Pablo will provide the musical entertainment. The first 50 couples to attend will be given a rose. Cost of the event is 2,500 colons, which will be used to pay for the committee’s expenses. For more information call 2778-1100 or 2778-1007.

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