Rather than shell out for little token presents (who really needs more bath products, anyway?), give each other the best gift of all: a slightly cheesy but totally sweet message from the heart.

sugar heart cookie


Sit down and write a list of what you love most about your mate. Make sure the descriptions are really specific to him (the way his eyes crinkle when he laughs), not a list of criteria you might read off a résumé. Also, jot down a couple of memories from the past year. Next year do the same. These are now historic documents! -- Relationship expert Diana Kirschner

Write from the heart.

Using your notes, make an outline. Once you have your thoughts organized, go for it. Write like you speak, instead of trying to impress your partner with flowery, thesaurus-style language. That way, your love letter will read as if it's really coming from you. -- Hallmark Cards editorial director Angela Ensminger

Make it a keepsake.

Transform your letter into a gift. Use textured paper and a matching envelope. Handwrite your letter with a fountain pen so it has a romantic look. Rather than spritz it with perfume or seal it with a kiss, use an embosser to add your initials to the back flap of the envelope. -- Kate's Paperie visual and creative services director Alton DuLaney