Every year on February 14th, across the United States and other countries around the world, cards, chocolates, and flowers are exchanged as an expression of love and admiration, all in the name of St. Valentine.
The History Channel gives a great background on this treasured (or loathed) holiday:
Americans spend a lot of money on this historical day–$130 per person and $18.6 billion total. Here are a few statistics:1
$130.97 — The per person average estimated amount that people will spend on Valentine’s Day.
224 million — The estimated number of roses grown for Valentine’s Day.
51% — The percentage of people who buy red roses for this holiday.
$18.6 billion — The total spending that will be reached by Valentine’s Day.
$1.6 billion — The amount people will spend on candy.
$1.9 billion — The amount people will spend on flowers.
$4.4 billion — The amount people will spend on diamonds, gold and silver.
March 14 — The day men give women romantic gifts in South Korea and Japan; women give men chocolate on Valentine’s Day.
$4.52 — The average amount pet owners spent on their pets on Valentine’s Day in 2012.
6 million — The number of people who expect or are planning a marriage proposal.
145 million — The unit amount of Valentine’s cards purchased.
151 million — The approximate number of cards that are exchanged on Valentine’s Day.
1,400 — Varieties of Hallmark’s available Valentine’s greeting cards.
So, to keep it light and a bit humorous on this day of love (and over spending), here are a few links to hopefully make you smile (or even roll your eyes):
Valentine’s Day Chocolate Will Cost More This Year, as Cocoa Prices Rise (NY Times)
“The price of cocoa, the main ingredient in most chocolate, soared last year, forcing chocolate producers to raise prices and shrink packages.”
How Chocolate and Valentine’s Day Mated for Life (Smithsonian.com)
“It turns out that chocolate really has a history as a love food. Passion for chocolate is rooted in Mesoamerican history. It was a highly-prized luxury item among Mayan and Aztec upper class elites, who were known to savor a drink that combined roasted cacao beans with cornmeal, vanilla, honey and chilies. Cacao beans were as valuable a commodity as gold, and were even used to pay taxes levied by Aztec rulers.”
Treat Yourself: Budget Friendly Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day Alone (U.S. News & World Report)
“Who says you need a special someone for Valentine’s Day? If you find yourself celebrating alone on February 14, rally your friends and make it a day (or evening) to remember.”
Hugh Grant: Don’t Watch Romantic Comedies on Valentine’s Day (Time)
“TIME sat down with the Brit to talk how he’s contributed to people’s unrealistic expectations about romance…”
Stupid Things People Say to Singles (Key Life)
In honor of Valentine’s Day, here a few not-so-nice things said to single people.
And, finally, Jim Gaffigan pleads with viewers on CBS Sunday Morning, “Can we get rid of Valentine’s Day?”
Readers of iAt: What will you do this year, beyond Valentine’s Day, to show your love to others around you?