Roses are Red; Money is Green

Ellen Hoffman, Editor-in-Chief

Chocolate, flowers and jewelry are the main ingredients for a Valentine’s Day extravaganza. But those items don’t come cheap.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, a person will spend $134.08 on Valentine’s Day.

And this number is an increase from 2012 spending.

Tammy Carroll, owner of Back Mountain Floral, said no holiday compares to the sweetheart celebration when it comes to flowers.

“The sales, they just skyrocket,” she said. “Compared to other holidays it triples but nothing really compares to Valentine’s Day. My golly, no.”

For Cupid’s holiday alone Carroll said her shop goes through about 1,500 roses, not including the ones they add into arrangements. She said this is the number one holiday for florists with Mother’s Day and Christmas following.

She also says a lit of prep work goes into preparing for the holiday hoopla. Cutting wire, tying bows and ordering balloons are just a few things that need to be out of the way before the orders can be filled.

Dr. Timothy Kearney, Chair of the Business Department, said Valentine’s Day is popular for grade school children who send valentines to their classmates, and people of his generation, the parents of college kids.

“We still do something special, whether it’s candies or dinner, a date night,” he said. “I don’t see any change. It seems to be very popular. A lot of folks do things. I know, not just our local press, but a lot of press in New York will have stories about where to go on Valentine’s Day or places to eat because people look for those things.”

Sophomore Cael Evans feels that this holiday is just as popular with college-aged students and even people in their mid twenties, because this could be when people find their soul mates.

“I feel that they are at that age when they are starting a relationship with someone who might be their wife or husband one day and Valentine’s Day is a special day to show their love to each other.”

Evans knows that college students live on a tight budget but feels Valentine’s Day is an occasion where that limit is sacrificed.

“Every guy loves to see their girlfriend smile so by buying them gifts or taking them out to dinner they can achieve that satisfaction,” he said. “There is no price limit on the ones you love.”

According to the same LA Times piece, sweethearts will spend the most on a dinner, estimating $9.9 billion overall, a 2.9% increase from 2012 while sweets, flowers and jewelry are the next major purchases.

Elba Valentine, owner of Valentine’s Jewelry, says Christmas is her busiest holiday because people make purchases for multiple people, while February purchases are only for sweethearts. But that doesn’t mean her door isn’t jammed with customers.

“I think it’s the one holiday that is all about love, rather than marking an occasion like a birthday or any other holiday,” she said.

Valentine also noticed how short this holiday seem. With men as the primary V-day consumers, purchases come in at the last minute.

“They think about it the weekend before,” she said of her male customers. “It’s a big season but it’s over in minutes. In other words, guys will come in for like four days in a row and then it will be over. Between January 10th and 14th and then it’s over.”

Valentine’s offers a number of package deals to make it a one-stop shopping trip for men searching for the perfect gift, something the store also offers to Mother’s Day shoppers. The package includes select jewelry, flowers, candy and dinner for $99.

“We do a package for guys because it makes their life a little easier if they can get it all in one place.”

They also have specials on select jewelry items, including Pandora bracelets.

Gertrude Hawk Chocolates in Dallas also offers a number of special orders for lovers. The most popular sweet treat is chocolate covered strawberries.

Ann Behney, sales supervisor, said workers make the event memorable by dressing up the strawberries and wrapping them in different boxes with bows.

“These beautiful strawberries are something that you can’t get from anywhere else because we fly them in from California,” she said. “We wrap them in different types of boxes and make them look as festive as we can for this celebration.”

Behney knows how big of a celebration Valentine’s Day can be for some couples and thinks it’s a way to cheer up during the long winters in Pennsylvania.

“It’s a romantic time of the year,” she said. “I think in the winter sometimes people need something special, especially with the dreary weather here on the East Coast. It kind of perks people up through the winter and gives them something to look forward to.”

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