Questions From Listeners: Valentine’s Day, Bah Humbug

BOSTON (CBS) – Question:  Valentine’s Day is too commercial! Our family doesn’t have the extra dollars to spend on frivolous gifts like children’s silk pajamas or diamond earrings. We pay all our bills on time and are current with our mortgage! I hate feeling like a tightwad! I just wanted you to know that!

Answer:  For 99% of us we have been in your shoes at some time, just making it. And probably have not done as well as you for many people start to use their credit card for the extras they truly cannot afford.

Now that the Super Bowl is over there are ads everywhere promoting Valentine’s Day. There are many folks who dislike this holiday and think it over rated.

Love is free but most Valentine gifts do cost money. Valentine’s Day should be a fun day celebrating love. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

The greeting card industry and retailers in general have expanded this holiday so it’s not just your one true love; it’s your kids, little sister, grandmother, your mom, dad, the dog, the cat, the next-door neighbor, and your best friend. I’m surprised the card industry hasn’t found a way to include your ex.

It is indeed very commercial. There are red hearts everywhere reminding us of the day. Over 36 million heart shaped boxes of candy will be given as gifts this year, and last year the flower industry grew over 190 million roses for the day.

According to the National Retail Federation, the average consumer will spend $126 on Valentine’s Day, up from last year. With over 60% of consumers planning to celebrate the holiday, total 2012 Valentine’s Day spending is expected to be close to $18 billion.

Men spend more money on gifts than women by almost 2 to 1. Maybe they are just trying to make up for that flat screen TV they bought to watch the Super Bowl.

The survey also found consumers will shell out over $4 billion for jewelry this Valentine’s Day. About half of those surveyed intended to buy candy and 36% plan to buy flowers and take their sweetie out to dinner.

How much do you want to spend or can afford to spend on this holiday? It does not have to be expensive. You can do it really cheap and still let someone know they are loved!

Write a poem or a special letter to those you love. Tell them why they are loved and why you need them in your life. None of this “roses are red, violets are blue” stuff, you want the real thing. Something from the heart.

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