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Valentine’s Day gifts can be way to reach out to unbelievers, encourage fellow Christianscomment (0)

February 8, 2007

By Cheryl Sloan Wray

It seems as if Valentine’s Day is as much about buying the right card as it is about the message of love behind the holiday.

But buying a Valentine’s gift can be a way to reach out to Christians and unbelievers with Christ’s love, according to Tina Atchenson, publicity and advertising manager with New Hope Publishers.

She said if Christians move past the "traditional" gifts of candy and jewelry, then there are opportunities to show love in its truest sense. "The added incentive in our gift-giving is when those gifts can have a possible eternal impact in the lives of those around us," Atchenson said.

According to retail experts, there are a number of popular gifts with a Christian twist.

At The Amen Corner in Pelham, Owner Darrel Holcombe predicted that the store will sell more of its children’s valentines than anything else. The boxed cards for children to give away to friends at church and school are available with Christian images such as "Veggie-Tales," Precious Moments and "The Chronicles of Narnia" and generic images of sports and cartoon characters with inspirational messages. Other children’s items include Valentine-themed stickers, bookmarks, rubber bracelets and pens.

Adult greeting cards, however, are the most purchased item for Valentine’s Day by nearly 63 percent of consumers, according to the National Retail Federation.

And Holcombe said that books are especially popular, adding that a number of children’s books are published specifically for Valentine’s Day. Some of the most popular this year are "Because I Love You," by Max Lucado; "I Love You With All My Hearts," by Sally Huss; and "My Valentine Story: Giving My Heart to God," by Crystal Bowman.

Atchenson said New Hope offers several books perfect for adult Valentine’s gifts such as "Famous Lovers in the Bible," by Doug and B.J. Jensen, and "Love Notes on His Pillow" and "Love Notes in Lunchboxes," both by Linda Gilden.

At LifeWay Christian Stores, special products in the Love Like Jesus collection are being offered to customers as ideal Valentine’s gifts. These include everything from a tote bag to a trinket box.

Atchenson also encourages gift-givers to consider WorldCrafts, a program sponsored by national Woman’s Missionary Union that markets handcrafts such as purses and jewelry made by women and men living in poverty in countries around the world.

For more information, visit www.thealabamabaptist.org or www.wmustore.com.


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