Valentine’s Day and its chubby cherub Cupid are only days away and Hallmark, Godiva, and every florist across the nation are jumping for joy.
They aren’t in love with cupid, or Saint Valentine for that matter, but they are in love with the numbers the holiday generates.
What were McCartney and Lennon thinking when they penned Can’t Buy Me Love? Clearly not the NRF figures for consumer spending on Valentine’s Day!
If you look at the National Retail Federation sales figures money can buy a whole lotta lovin.’ How much lovin’ exactly? Well how about, one billion dollars more lovin’ than last year. That’s a whole lotta lovin’ going on.
On average, a person will spend almost $131.00 on Valentine’s gifts such as cards, candy and flowers for their sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. That figure is up $5 from last year’s average. The 2012 average was $126.03, which was up from the 2011 average by ten bucks! In 2011 the average spent on Valentine’s Day per person was $116.21, WHICH WAS UP $13 from the 2010 average, $103.00.Consumers spent $17.6 billion in total on Valentine’s Day in 2012, this year the number is projected to reach $18.6 billion. National Deficit? Recession? Never heard of them!
The truth about Valentine’s Day, along with Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and most “Days” that now have a card in their honor, is that it is all a commercialized gimmick to guilt consumers into spending money on their loved ones. Far be it for me to say don’t fall for that rubbish! I mean multiple industries will do billions of dollars of profit for one holiday alone, generating work for retailers, card companies, chocolate makers, florists, restaurants, and whoever else has managed to corner a niche in the Valentine’s Day market.
Here’s a stupid idea though, when my husband and I were a young, broke couple I wrote him a poem, in Gaelic, and framed it for him on our first Valentine’s Day together. I hand wrote it in calligraphy style.
We are now 20 years together, and that poem is still in a frame. Unlike the flowers, chocolate and cards that will generate billions in dollars, that silly little poem has lasted twenty years.
I know I sound like a right old Scrooge, but don’t we put so much pressure on ourselves with Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, you name it. There’s nothing wrong, or cheap, or unloving about MAKING something for your loved one for Valentine’s Day.