by Susan Mikula Campbell
For kids, Valentine's Day is easy. All they need are some crayons, scissors and red construction paper, and they'll come up with a valentine that will touch your heart.
It's the grownups that have to stop and think how to say, "I love you." Traditionally, that means chocolate and flowers, or maybe a small piece of jewelry. If you're looking for chocolates in a heart-shaped box, Kelly's Country Store on Grand Island is the place to go - even the box itself is made of chocolate.
Kelly's also has chocolate hearts that can be personalized with a loved one's name, chocolate suckers and mini chocolate hearts filled with peanut butter or caramel. There are also the year-round favorites, such as sponge candy and fudge.
"Chocolate here is very big. We have a large variety and price range," said Marilyn Anderson, manager/buyer. "So many people come back year after year."
Because Kelly's is also a gift shop, jewelry or a little novelty item can be added to your chocolate gift, or stop in the new specialty food room.
Enchanted Florist, with shops in both the Town of Niagara and Lewiston, also is gearing up for Valentine's Day. Unlike other holidays, when deliveries are made on days leading up to the event, everyone wants their flowers delivered on the 14th. On normal days, there's one Enchanted Florist delivery van on the road. For Valentine's Day, there will be six.
"Roses are the order of the day," said Delores Tagliarini, owner.
The biggest seller by far, whether it's a dozen or a single rose, is red roses, although some people do choose pink or mixed colors, she said.
Teddy bears are a popular addition to the flowers, but she remembers at least one case where an engagement ring was delivered with the roses. "I tell the driver to be extra careful."
Actually, Christmas is the biggest holiday for engagement rings, according to George Edwards, owner of George Edwards Jewelers in Wheatfield. Valentine's Day is probably the second most popular holiday for those sparkling diamond rings.
Most people coming into his shop for a heartfelt gift this month are typically looking for something less costly than an engagement ring, possibly a heart in sterling silver or some of his selection of heart-themed beads for a Chamilia add-a-bead bracelet.
"Valentine's Day is more of a going out to dinner and flowers and a little piece of jewelry day," Edwards said.