Sweet 'n' spicy Valentine's services top Hallmark

From a striptease e-card to charity in lieu of gifts, Web sites are offering creative alternatives to say you care.

Good love for you!

As much fun as it is to grumble at the scheduled sentimentality of the most schlocky of Hallmark holidays while shaking your fist at the spiraling costs of demonstrating said socialization, why not try a new approach to challenging the rose brigade's status quo?

Polka Networks offers lovebirds a chance to show true heart by customizing an e-card that makes a charitable promise in lieu of a gift. Instead of buying electronicsfor your mate, pledge to purchase an acre of rain forest, salaries for nannies in Chinese orphanages, or a handmade necklace that helps trafficked children in Ghanaian fishing villages (links to organizations included). Or simply commit to planting sustainable flowers, baking cupcakes, or tucking the kids into bed for a week.

JibJab's striptease e-card

Romantics can choose from four layouts on the prehistoric Web 1.0 site for the Random Acts of Love service, plus a quote and almost 50 gift selections. All e-cards ship on the 14th, so hurry--it's all too likely the site's visitors will overpower its servers.

For pure camp, JibJabfeatures amusing stripteases for him and her that are just passable for the office, though eyebrows may rise a notch or two higher for "his" mating dance. You may want to include a warning. It's not hard to see why recipients of the lady-tease get a better deal, and men, I hope you know better than to do this at home. Or this. But learn this number, and I'm yours forever.

About the author

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.

 

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