It’s Valentine’s Day yet again! Is it a special holiday to celebrate the people you love? Or, is it a corporate cash grab that should be dropped from the calendar? All depends who you ask! Whatever your opinion we bet you’ll enjoy these Valentine’s Day fun facts.
There are several different theories about how Valentine’s Day originated. One is that it celebrated the life and death of St. Valentine, a priest in Ancient Rome. The Roman Emperor outlawed marriage for young men as he thought if they were single, they’d be better soldiers. So St. Valentine helped marry young couples in secret. For breaking this unfair law, he was executed and became a martyr.
Another theory is that in mid-February, the Romans celebrated a pagan festival called Lupercalia. The Christian Church wanted to rebrand the holiday to St. Valentine’s Day. People began celebrating Valentine’s Day as a celebration of love in the Middle Ages while written cards first became popular after 1400 A.D.
In the United States, Americans have been exchanging Valentine’s Day greetings since the early 1700s, but it really became popular starting in 1900, when technology made it more affordable to print cards.
Valentine’s Day Spending
Today, Valentine’s Day is big business. So, just how much are people spending? The National Retail Federation found that American consumers plan to spend $27.4 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2020. Per consumer, that comes out to about $196.31 per person. Time to break out that wallet if you’re going to keep up. People seem to be feeling especially generous in 2020 because it’s a huge jump from last year, where they spent $20.7 billion.
In 2019, Valentine’s Day was the third ranked holiday for consumer spending. The only special occasions when people spent more were the winter holidays and Mother’s Day (so save some money to take care of Mom in May!)
Americans just wrapped up a massive shopping spree. Here’s the top seven most popular gifts, ranked in terms of amount spent:
- An evening out
- Gift cards
- Greeting cards
Even though greeting cards finished at the bottom of the list in terms of actual dollars spent, that’s because they were the least expensive item. Hallmark found that Americans send out roughly 145 million Valentine’s Day cards. Busy day for the post office! If you’re looking for a unique gift idea, consider paying for some sort of experience like a trip or a day spa visit, rather than the typical jewelry or chocolates. 41% of Americans said they would prefer getting this type of gift.
Finally, if you’re not sure whether to buy chocolates or roses, the data says go with candy! The majority of Americans said they’d prefer getting chocolate over flowers as a gift. And they might even share with you too.
People Getting the Gifts
To wrap up our Valentine’s Day fun facts, let’s see who received all these presents:
- 51% went to spouses/partners/significant others
- 15% went to other family members
- 8% went friends
- 7% went children’s classmates and teachers
- 7% went to coworkers
- 6% went to pets (Great to see the pet love, just don’t buy your dog chocolates!)
- 6% went to someone else