Today is Valentine’s Day. The day for expressing how much you love your husband, wife, children, mom, dad, significant other, grandchildren, best friend, classmates, etc. I think the list could go on and on. On Valentine’s day you can pretty much express your affection to anyone. Yet, there are some that refuse to celebrate, saying that it is all hype and profit for many businesses. I try to view it from both sides of the fence.
Here are some facts that I found. Most came from Research Brain.
1) Over $13 billion will be spent on candy, cards, jewelry, food for this one day.
2) Stores will sell over 180 million cards
3) 198,000,000 roses will be bought
4) On average, a person will spend $116 on Valentine gifts
5) 53% of women would end their relationship if they did not receive something on valentine’s day
6) 11,000 children are conceived on Valentine’s day
7) Candy (of some type) makes up half of gifts given where one third will receive flowers.
We are really unsure of where the holiday began, but researchers say it is of Roman origin. Some say it came from the Roman festival Lupercalia which was celebrated om February 15th. Others say it was in memory of Valentine, a Roman priest. He was executed for performing marriages for Roman soldiers after Emperor Claudius II forbade his soldiers from marrying. But, does it really matter?
I’ve pitched in and done my part and over the last four and a half decades I’ve spent plenty of money. I remember the first time I bought my wife (then girlfriend) a heart shaped box of chocolates. She seemed so excited. In order to not hurt my feelings, she didn’t tell me that she really didn’t like candy, especially chocolate. I didn’t find this out until a couple of years later when I was helping her clean out her closet. We found that box of chocolate and she had punched holes in the bottom of each just to see what was inside. I believe that she was packing to go off to her first year of college, but that was so long ago that I don’t remember for sure.
Since then, she has received a variety of gifts. One year, long ago I cross-stitched a set of covered buttons. The diagrams looked like pieces of chocolate, and were very detailed. Yes, there was a time covered buttons were popular. I even wrapped them in a small Whitman’s sampler box. I believe these were the only chocolates that she ever enjoyed. I did put a lot of time and effort into them.
Over the years, we progressed through flowers, jewelry, clothing (not a good idea), and gift cards. Over the past few years (we’ve been married for 41) we decided to settle on just buying cards for us and we now spend money on our six-year old and our grandchildren.
Personally, I try to show Suzanne that I still love her, not just on one day of the year, but everyday throughout the year. I often send messages throughout the day just telling I’m thinking of her and that I love her. I try to help out around the house and lighten her work-load by folding clothes and washing cups/bottles (for our little girl and foster baby). I do floors and I vacuum carpets. I even like going to the grocery store with her. Do I always get it right? Not in the least, but I still try.
Why do all this? I still like spending time with her and years ago I made a commitment to love her. And I still do with all my heart. Happy Valentine’s Day!!
***John E. Stack is the author of Cody’s Almost Trip to the Zoo, Cody’s Rescue Adventure at the Zoo, and Olivia’s Sweet Adventure.