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Singles everywhere are bracing themselves for the holiday they dread the most — Valentine's Day. This week there will be an onslaught of commercials that advertise amazing packages couples can take to celebrate their love. If you don't have a special someone in your life and wish that you did, it can be really painful. Some have even dubbed the day S.A.D. — Singles Awareness Day.

There are certainly options for ways to handle Valentine's Day and the weeks surrounding it. Some choose to ignore the day altogether, claiming it is nothing more than a made-up holiday to generate revenue, which could be true since it's estimated that people will spend more than $650 million on food, candy, flowers and other Valentine's Day gifts. Others sit at home, lamenting the fact that they don't have someone special in their life.

One group of singles decided they were done being irritated and sad about the day. They came up with a plan for an annual dessert party and contest. The guys had to come up with a dessert recipe and make it with no help. The desserts would be judged on presentation, creativity and taste.

Each year the ladies in the group came up with a different theme and awards were given based on the theme. The theme of the party was not announced until the night of the party. Past themes included the Olympics, reality shows, current events and news headlines.

There have been some pretty amazing entries such as volcano cakes, replicas of landmarks, Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding and jalapeno brownies. There have also been some epic failures like the time one guy tried to make some kind of healthy thing that turned out to be totally disgusting.

Bottom line, it didn't really matter whether it was a winner or a serious dud, it was a great way to spend time together, celebrate and laugh, which made it a fun way to spend Valentine's Day.

Through the years some of the original members of the group have gotten married, but they still participate in the annual contest.

If you are single and dreading Valentine's Day, here are a few tips from other singles for making the day fun.

' Gather with friends. Have dinner and make Valentine's cards to send to people who probably won't receive a Valentine, like an elderly neighbor who has no family.

' Make a batch of Valentine cards and send them to some single friends without a signature.

' Invite friends over for a special dinner instead of going out to eat.

' Offer to babysit for some married friends so they can go on a date.

' Send yourself some flowers.

' Throw your own dessert theme party or come up with your own creative party idea.

Valentine's Day is not just for romantic couples; it's a celebration of the love we feel for others. Take time out to acknowledge those who have made a difference in your life through their affection and support.

Julie Baumgardner is president and CEO of First Things First. Contact her at