The Commercial Side of Valentine’s Day (And a Few Alternative Ideas)

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If you’re in a relationship right now, chances are you have some kind of plans for this Tuesday. Although shelves of red and pink candy containers and rows of heart-studded PJ’s make it hard to forget, in case it’s slipped your notice, Valentine’s day is right around the corner.

The holiday is a big deal in the U.S. Consumers will spend a predicted $18.2 billion for gifts, dinners, and the works for Valentine’s Day in 2017, according to Fortune.

If you think that sounds like a lot, the number is less than what was spent in 2016, about $19.7 billion, which worked out to about $146.84 per celebrator. The 2017 number works out to about ten dollars less, at $136.57.

The Knot reported the WalletHub survey and broke it down. Of that $18.2 billion, $4.3 billion will go to jewelry, and $2 billion to flowers, which almost 35 percent of celebrators will buy. Just under 50 percent of those celebrating will buy candy. And the average cost of the Valentine’s date night was $73.68.

Of those surveyed, 53 percent of women said no gift is a no-go and a reason for a breakup. More potentially tough news for guys: last year they spent about twice what women spent.

Every year, millions of people celebrate the holiday with their significant others, and The Knot reported that 90% of those in relationships will buy gifts.

However, there’s no reason to despair if you want to do something special, but are broke, or you eschew “Hallmark Holidays” (Hallmark has 1,500 Valentine’s themed greeting cards, and this year consumers will buy an estimated $1 billion worth of cards).

The holiday can be just about your relationship and spending time together, not the card companies. Try saying you care with something a little less commercialized, like breakfast in bed, or simply rent a movie instead of going to the theater (it’ll cost you somewhere around $5 instead of $20).

You could also make your own, personalized card (glitter and all!), or take the time to write a longer love letter. You might even go classical and try your hand at a little poetry, a bit of a lost art.

Of course, if you just don’t do poems, arts and crafts give you nightmares of preschool, and you burn coffee when you look at it, there’s nothing wrong with chocolates and flowers.

I'm a lover of words in all forms, sweatshirts in all conditions, and God in all circumstances. I particularly enjoy working collaboratively on the written word and wearing microfiber robes (preferably at the same time). Most of the time I don't get enough sleep, but I make a valiant effort.

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