I always say to myself if I can make it through January, the 28 days in February will fly by. Then comes March, which means spring and hopefully no more snow. Although the way the weather is this year, that snow still may come in May.
Nevertheless, 31 days of January: completed.
We are almost half done with this month and two days from Valentine’s Day. Remember when you were young and there were hopes of getting a “special” valentine from a specific someone? There were plenty of Valentine’s Day disappointments throughout my younger years – ones I thought the selfish me, because my young mind thought the world revolved around moi, never would recover from. Feb. 15 couldn’t come fast enough. But my heart mended, and now I unselfishly look forward to Feb. 14 for three reasons: my children, my husband and my friends. Just another excuse to express how much these important people mean to me.
Reason 1: I always try to give my children a little something extra the morning of Feb. 14. It may be a favorite candy, a gift card to a frequent shopping spot or just a card that says “I love you.” Even though they now are teenagers, they humor me and act surprised. The smile they have on their faces when they leave the house is all I need to know they appreciated the gesture. For those with teenagers, you know that a student leaving for school with a smile is rare.
Reason 2: My husband travels every week, so unless cupid arrives on the weekend, I have to sneak my gift into his luggage, which doesn’t seem so difficult except he might not pack until right before bed. The suitcase then sits in the room, and I have to remember what can’t be carried on a plane (read – present must be unwrapped). The fun is finding the ideal item that says, “I miss and love you and wish you were here,” and follows TSA regulations. Just like our children, he acts like he had no idea I would do anything like that. When I talk to him that evening, I can feel the happiness on his face.
Reason 3: Many of my longtime friends chose to live here or very close by, which makes getting together relatively easy. We get together a couple of times a year for dinner, and our first time usually is around Valentine’s Day. I am not sure why; it just seems to be a good fit for each of us. Sharing stories from awkward tween and teen years always is fun and something I look forward to.
Off the top of my head, I can think of many places in Geneva where I could pick up something for the kids and find a TSA-approved present for my husband. I also could think of Geneva restaurants – offering Feb. 14 specials – that are ideal to dine at with my friends. And if the actual Valentine’s Day doesn’t allow you a meal out, many eateries are extending treats into the weekend.
The secret to my success is www.genevachamber.com, a full business directory with direct links to shop and restaurant websites. While you are there, sign up to receive “Hot Deals” through your email. A “Hot Deal” is blasted out to all who subscribe. It may be a percentage off, an event, a new product that a business is announcing or a distinct meal offering.
This Valentine’s Day, let local shops and restaurants help you express your gratitude for the important people in your life.
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In that spirit, the Geneva Chamber of Commerce expresses our appreciation and love to our volunteers. Geneva runs on helping hands and leadership from local businesses, area residents, families and students. None receive pay, and we could never give them enough kudos for their unselfish work.
The chamber depends on hundreds of volunteers for its four festivals. Events to assist the business community also are managed by volunteers – the Membership Committee, Co-Op Committee, Golf Committee, Leads Group, Classic Car Show and ambassadors. The Geneva Women in Business – or GWIB – group also is a volunteer board made up of local businesses. The Wedding Walk, Black Hat Day and Gardenology are spearheaded by merchant committees.
And let’s not forget the Geneva Beautification Committee, Cultural Arts Commission and the Business Improvement and Retention Committee. Beautiful flowers in the knuckles, quality cultural events, improved merchant communication and innovative downtown events are successful because people get involved in community projects and issues.
Interested in volunteering for a Geneva Chamber of Commerce festival? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 630-232-6060. There is a fit for everyone.
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Back by popular demand is the Geneva citywide garage sale the weekend of April 26 and 27. Take advantage of the early bird registration fee of $25; register by April 12 online at www.primegaragesales.com/geneva.html or download a form at www.genevachamber.com.
In addition, the second annual Geneva’s Got Talent competition is looking for singers, dancers, magicians, jugglers and gymnasts. The winner gets a $1,000 prize. Application and rules to audition May 18 may be found on www.genevachamber.com/swedishdays.html.
• Laura Rush is communications manager for the Geneva Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at email@example.com.