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    Spreading Valentine's love on the Web
    by Armeen Youssefian
    Birds do it. Bees do it. Apparently, even educated fleas do it. I've never quite understood what smart fleas have to do with falling in love. But I do understand that love is indeed what makes the world—and the World Wide Web—go 'round. So, this Valentine's Day, let's venture online to make the most out of this amorous holiday.

    What's so adorable about February 14th?
    Cupids. Hearts. Teddy bears. Some argue that Valentine's Day is just another commercial holiday. Maybe so. In fact, the Greeting Card Association states an estimated one billion Valentine cards are sent every year. For the romantics among us, however, Valentine's Day still conjures up warm, fuzzy memories of colorful punch-out cards and illegible candy conversation hearts. It's a day when it's okay to be deliciously sappy and bask in the glow of love, sweet love. But before you start reciting sonnets and cutting hearts out of paper doilies, find out just who this mysterious Saint Valentine was, how this all got started, and what it's become.

    Charm 'em with the tried-and-true classics
    With the convenience of online ordering and so much to choose from, it's easier than ever to make the ladies (and gents) swoon. It may seem like a clich´┐Ż, but a delivery of fresh flowers and Godiva chocolates is always a welcomed Valentine surprise. Planning on wining and dining your dearest? Beat the Valentine's Day dinner rush by making your advanced restaurant reservation online. And to keep those hot embers burning, count on the Web for endless advice on matters of love.

    DIY romance
    Maybe you're no Esther Howland, but with a little inspiration you too can make a unique hand-made card your sweetheart is sure to treasure. Create a vintage Valentine with Victorian hearts, and include a classic love poem. I think even old Will would say it was okay for you to borrow some lines from one of his sonnets. And don't forget to include love coupons! Looking for something less "glue stick" and more, say, "color printer"? You can also personalize and print free, readymade Valentine cards online.

    If you're feeling crafty, try your hand at this pretty heart wreath or keepsake rose heart decoration. And nothing says "I love you" like some great sox, er, socks. If you're a knitter, whip together these warm, woolly socks for your honey.

    To find your way to a man's heart, heat it up in the kitchen with a romantic dinner. (Men, this works the other way around, too.) Want to tempt your sweetie with sweets? Try some fun and easy treats, or forget flowers with a tasty cookie bouquet instead!

    For a thoughtful gift that keeps on giving, pull together some of your favorite love songs and make your own custom CD, label and all.

    Fun (and free) ways to spread the love
    Still recovering from all your holiday spending? Check out these free, silly virtual presents! Your honeybunch will know just how much you care when they receive a virtual musk ox in their inbox. For candy heart aficionados like me, create personalized conversation hearts and email the images to your pals. Or send everyone you love an eCard or an old-fashioned online love note. And when you just can't find the right words, just fill in the blanks and let someone else find them for you.

    Valentines and the kiddies
    If your kids are the loves of your life, treat them to some quality time making easy Valentine cards and crafts together. Check out these great ideas: Keep lookin' for love in all the right places
    Finally, if you're still searching for Mr. or Ms. Right, you're not alone (for long). Many quality people like you and me are turning to finding that Valentine's Day date. And for the ultra-bashful, behold this marvel of modern love: Email your secret crush a free message, and (secretly) find out if they're interested in you, too. Cupid is a genius!

    When all else fails: Some people turn to faith. Others, a love potion! However you celebrate this day of love, remember we'll always love you. Happy Valentine's Day from your friends at EarthLink!