Spread the love this Valentine’s Day

Christy Steadman
csteadman@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/29/21

As a child, I used to enjoy Valentine’s Day for the arts-and-crafts aspect of it. I enjoyed picking out the box of valentines at the store, and going down the list that the teacher provided with …

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Spread the love this Valentine’s Day

Posted

As a child, I used to enjoy Valentine’s Day for the arts-and-crafts aspect of it.

I enjoyed picking out the box of valentines at the store, and going down the list that the teacher provided with all the names of my classmates and picking out which valentine would go to whom.

I liked decorating the box that would sit on my desk at school on Valentine’s Day to serve as a mailbox for all my classmates to drop their valentines in. That’s not to mention the break from learning during the bit of classtime that was set aside for all of us to go around room and deliver our valentines.

And of course, coming home and opening my box and seeing all the different valentines that the other kids had picked out was always fun.

As an adult, Valentine’s Day took on a whole new perspective for me. I paid my way through college by bartending and waiting tables for tips, so in those years, Valentine’s Day usually meant I could look forward to a little extra spending money in the remaining days of February.

Valentine’s Day is customarily for lovers, but it has become increasingly more popular in the recent past years to spread the love — so to say — to family members other than spouses, your bestie, leisure activity comrades and even co-workers.

I think this year, we have even more of an opportunity to spread the love since we’re still not out-of-the-woods yet with COVID-19. It could be a fun family activity to purchase an inexpensive box of valentines, fill them out and mail them to distant friends and family who may be feeling isolated this year. Or, perhaps to healthcare workers or others on the front lines as a thank-you. I guarantee a goofy little valentine would bring a smile to anybody’s face.

We also have an opportunity to boost the economy a little. According to a February 2019 article in USA Today that studied spending on dinner, chocolate, flowers and other gifts for Valentine’s Day, 50 years ago, in 1971, the average cost of Valentine’s Day was $14.53 per couple — for comparison, a movie ticket back then was $1.65. And 20 years ago, in 2001, the average cost of Valentine’s Day was $52.89, with movie tickets going for $5.65.

I couldn’t find exact spending data for 2020, but Wallet­Hub — a finance management website specializing in credit scores that publishes various finance-related studies — on Feb. 4 last year published data that projected Valentine’s Day spending would be about $27.4 billion in 2020.

To me, these numbers suggest that we as a society enjoy spending a little extra money on Valentine’s Day to make our loved ones feel special.

So if you’re planning on doing the traditional dinner-and-gifts to say, “I love you,” to your someone special this year, I encourage you to shop and dine local. It is still January when I am writing this column, but my guess is restaurants will soon begin to announce Valentine’s Day specials for both dine-in and take-out. And you’re sure to find a special, unique gift that nobody else has at a small business.

By shopping and dining locally this year, you’ll be spreading the Valentine’s Day love to all of Denver.

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