Associations Spread the Love on Valentine’s Day
Greeting cards, flowers, and chocolates are in the spotlight on Valentine’s Day—and the associations that represent those industries are happy to help America’s lovebirds enjoy the holiday. But they aren’t the only groups trying to get your attention this time of year. Here’s how several associations spread the Valentine’s spirit.
Hey, fellas, and ladies: If you haven’t looked at your calendars recently, let this be your reminder that Valentine’s Day is Friday, and time is running out to get that special someone the perfect gift. And don’t forget to check on that dinner reservation.
If you are in a pinch, a few associations have some tips and tricks to help you successfully navigate February 14th.
Dazzle Your Date
Fewer people plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, according to the National Retail Federation, but spending on the holiday continues to increase. In the most recent Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, NRF found that the average American plans to shell out just under $134, up from $131 last year.
So where’s all that dough going?
People go big with greeting cards on Valentine’s Day—it’s the second-biggest holiday for cards behind Christmas, according to the Greeting Card Association. About 145 million cards will be purchased for sweethearts (not counting the classroom valentines) this year.
One in four American adults purchased flowers for their valentine in 2013, according to a survey by the Society of American Florists. While the red rose was the runaway favorite (purchased by 63 percent), the survey found that mixed bouquets (41 percent) and roses of other colors (27 percent) were also popular.
Chocolates may be the preferred gift for your valentine, though. A National Confectioners Association survey of 1,300 adult consumers found that Americans picked chocolate over flowers 69 percent of the time. That number jumps to 83 percent for men.
Dinner for Two
Valentine’s Day continues to be a popular holiday to dine out, second only to Mother’s Day, according to the National Restaurant Association. About one-quarter of Americans will make a reservation for this Friday, and one-third said they’d like to receive a restaurant gift card.
For those who dine out, the Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics offers tips for people with food allergies. “Since dating so often revolves around eating, it’s important that people with food allergies take a proactive approach,” Tonya Winders, president and CEO of AANMA, said in a statement. Being open about food allergies can help you have a safe and enjoyable date, she said.
If you’d rather try your hand in the kitchen, the American Diabetes Association has some tips and simple recipes for healthy, homemade Valentine’s Day meals.
Valentine’s Day is all about the heart, but all those chocolates and fine dinners can take their toll on heart health. The American Heart Association has a list of heart-healthy tips for Valentine’s Day. One idea: “Rather than tempting your beloved with chocolates, consider a gift that has more permanence,” AHA said in a statement. “Search for a poem that describes your feelings and write it on beautiful paper for a handmade valentine.”
The American Psychological Association has advice to help couples and singles enjoy the day. In a Q&A on the APA website, Diana Kirschner, Ph.D., talks about how social media has affected relationships, what couples can do to keep the fire burning, and how unattached folks can make the most of the day.
How does your association spread the Valentine’s Day spirit? Share your story in the comments.