Valentine’s Day Credit Card Savings

Best Credit Cards Valentines

For many of us, the countdown to February 14 brings with it an increasing level of stress as we struggle to find a great present, make a reservation at the right restaurant and, most importantly, find a way to pay for it all.

In support of your plight, CardHub has identified a number of ways to ease the pain that love inflicts on your wallet.  From seasonal discounts for existing cardholders to new cards offering the kinds of low rates and lucrative initial rewards bonuses you need to cure Cupid’s hangover, we’ve got you covered!

Existing Cardholder Discounts

Card Hub surveyed the nation’s largest credit card issuers to determine how they plan on expressing their love for their dear customers this Valentine’s Day.  Here’s what we learned:

Best Vday Cards American Express
These Amex Offers are accessible via your American Express account on the website or app, and if you sync your card with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Merchant Offer Start Date End Date
Drybar Spend $50, Get $10 1/21 3/31
Henri Bendel Spend $200, Get $50 1/15 2/15
Teleflora Spend $50, Get $15 12/15 2/14
City Sports Spend $100, Get $20 1/19 3/16
Godiva Spend $50, get $10 2/2 3/2
Exhale Spend $100, get $20 2/3 2/28
1800flowers.com Spend $50, Get $15 1/20 3/31
  • American Express Travel: Save 20%-40% on hotels when booked by 2/28 for travel between now and March 15 ( www.amextravel.com)

Best Vday Cards Braclaycard
Barclays is offering a number of Valentine’s Day discounts in partnership with Upromise. For example:

  • 50% Off: YouFlowers.com
  • 20% Off: Proflowers,
  • 15% Off: Personal Creations, 1-800-FLOWERS

Best Vday Cards Capital One
Capital One’s World and Signature customers can use the company’s concierge service. The concierge services offered are different for each product (World and Signature). For example, the Visa Signature Concierge service can help customers find tickets to the top sports and entertainment events, book travel, make dinner reservations, and even help you find the perfect gift.

Best Vday Cards Chase
Chase Freedom cardholders have the opportunity to earn additional cash back throughout the year with Chase Freedom’s Cash Back Boost, which handpicks offers from popular retailers to make it easier to find something rewarding for every shopping season. The following offers are available for Valentine’s Day:

  • Extra 14% Cash Back: ProFlowers
  • Extra 5% Cash Back: Shari’s Berries, Chocolate Chip Delights, FTD and Cherry Moon Farms

Best Vday Cards Discover
Discover is offering 5% cash back on Gas and Ground Transportation this quarter. Plus, with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, cardmembers can earn cash back by shopping online through Discover Deals, the company’s online portal. Below is the full list of merchants showcased in the Discover Deals Valentine’s Day category:

  • 25% Cash Back: FTD
  • 20% Cash Back: 1800Baskets.com, 1800Flowers.com, Cheryl’s, Teleflora, The Popcorn Factory online, Fannie May Candies, Bliss
  • 15% Cash Back: Saks Fifth Avenue, Brookstone.com, Jewelry.com
  • 10% Cash Back: Macy’s, Sephora, Clinique, Lord & Taylor, Bumble and bumble, CHEFS Catalog, Saks Off 5th, Smashbox, Starbucks, Godiva, Zales
All offers are available online.

Best Vday Cards PenFed
PenFed Visa cardholders can take advantage of three great Valentine’s Day merchant deals with Teleflora.com, BlueFly.com, and Shop.com.com when they enroll in Visa Checkout.

  • Teleflora.com: Fresh flowers hand-delivered daily. Get 40% off your purchase when you use Visa Checkout.
  • Shop.com: Spend $25 and get a free $15 gift card with use of Visa Checkout.
  • Bluefly.com: Get free 2-Day shipping when you use Visa Checkout.

Best Vday Cards Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo credit card customers can earn rewards and enjoy special offers while shopping at their favorite online and in-store retailers through the Earn More Mall® Site. With the approach of Valentine’s Day, offers through the Earn More Mall Site include discounts on flowers, travel, gourmet treats and more for truly special gifts. Customers can earn up to 20 bonus points per $1 and shop their choice of over 10,000 popular merchants, including 1-800-Baskets.com®, Godiva.com, Ice.com, Macys.com, and SharisBerries.com.

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The Best Credit Cards for Valentine’s Day

You obviously won’t be able to get a new credit card in time for Valentine’s Day, but if you’ve been planning to go big with your present this year, you can certainly set yourself up for savings down the road.  Whether it’s a balance transfer deal that prevents Valentine’s Day interest from haunting you for months to come or an initial rewards bonus that enables you to give the gift of a spring or summer vacation, these cards will score you major points with both your Valentine and your bank account.

  • Paying Off Debt:  Slate Card from Chase – This card offers 0% on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months and doesn’t charge either a balance transfer fee (for transfers made during the first 60 days) or an annual fee. You can therefore transfer any debt that you incur in the coming days to this card in order to avoid interest in the holiday’s aftermath.
  • Getting Some Extra Cash:  Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – Charging $4,000 to this card in the first three months will get you a 40,000-point initial rewards bonus, redeemable for $500 in travel accommodations (when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards) or a $400 statement credit. That means you can use it to either effectively subsidize what you spend now or better afford a promised present down the line.
  • Scoring a Free TripBarclaycard Arrival Plus Card – Spending at least $3,000 in the first three months that you have this card will get you 40,000 bonus miles, which you can redeem for $400 in travel expenses. You also get a 10% mileage discount when you redeem for travel statement credits, which gives this card a slight edge over the Venture Card from Capital One’s similar rewards structure. Ultimately, this Barclaycard is a great way to make up for a lackluster Valentine’s Day with a nice weekend getaway! There is no annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter).
  • Saving Everyday:  Citi Double Cash — You get 2% cash back on all purchases made; 1% on purchases made and another 1% when you pay off your balance and it has no annual fee (up to By using this card to save a little bit every day, you’ll be able to afford that family vacation or V-Day present you’ve had your eye on for a while now.
  • Improving Your Credit:  Harley-Davidson Secured Card – There’s nothing sexier than a good credit score!  Truthfully.  Good credit signals responsibility and saves you money – a lot of it.  They Harley-Davidson Secured Card can help put you on the path to such perks.It doesn’t charge an annual fee, and anyone can get approved for it as long as they place a refundable security deposit of at least $300.  The deposit will serve as your credit line, ensuring you won’t overspend, and as long as you pay on time every month the information that gets reported to the credit bureaus will be positive.

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10 V-Day Savings Tips

  1.  Try to Beat Average: The average person Valentine’s Day celebrator is expected to spend $142.31 this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Make it your mission to spend less than that amount. In so doing, you’ll be giving yourself a budget and turning frugality into a competition.
  2.  Celebrate During the Day: Celebrating while it’s light out opens up a number of cost-effective activities, from picnics to scenic hiking. Things like restaurant reservations are also easier to come by.
  3.  Buy Discounted Gift Cards: Most people love gift cards, judging from the more than 60% of people who say they want one each holiday season. If you decide to get one for your sweetheart, make sure to shop at an online gift card exchange like the one Card Hub offers in order to pay well below face value.
  4.  Cook & Eat Out the Following Night: Not only is cooking for your partner a gift in itself, especially if you aren’t the one who usually does it, but staying in on high-traffic Valentine’s Day will also enable you to beat the crowds and get the reservation you want the next night.
  5.  Use Credit Card Rewards: When was the last time you redeemed your credit card’s cash back, miles or points balance? If it’s been awhile, consider using your earnings to celebrate your love. This is especially beneficial if you’re dealing with points or miles, as it will enable you to avoid rewards devaluation.
  6.  Recreate Your First Date: Chances are your first day was relatively inexpensive. That means recreating when the sparks first flew is not just a thoughtful, romantic gesture – it’s also a frugal one. Just make sure not to blow it this time around!
  7.  Think Thoughtful, Not Expensive: Some people love material items, yes. And if you’re married to one, good luck to your wallet. For everyone else, keep in mind just how far imagination and sentimentality can take you. Recreating your first date is one example of this, but there are countless ways that you can woo your boo on a budget. Just think about the most special times you’ve spent together, inside jokes you share, important occasions, shared interests, etc. and the ideas will start coming to you.
  8.  Sell Your Reservation: There probably isn’t time to do this in 2015, but if you really want to take things to the next level next year, think about what restaurants and attractions will be most popular on Valentine’s Day and book reservations well in advance. Then, when the place inevitably fills up, you can offer to sell your spot to another couple that you know. If you play your cards right, you’ll be able to pay for your own celebrations.
  9.  Relax with Redbox: Watching a movie at home, whether it’s from Redbox or On Demand, is great way to bond with your sweetheart at very little expense. It’s also an opportunity to turn the lights down and get your cuddle on!
  10.  Look for Daily Deals: While you might be growing tired of endless e-mails from sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, paying especially close attention to them for at least one more week could really pay off. Countless Valentine’s specials are going to be offered; you just need to be decisive when the right one catches your eye.
  11.  

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Valentine’s Day By The Numbers

Most Popular Valentine’s Day Gifts By Year & Type
*Reflects projected spending
** Numbers may exceed 100% in total due to double counting.

 

Projected Spending for Valentine's Day 2014 & 2015 (in Billions)


 

Ask The Experts:  Examining the Economics of Love

 

  • Do you have any tips for saving money on Valentine’s Day celebrations?
  • What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?
  • Is Valentine’s Day, in its current form, based more in history or corporate influence?
  • To what extent is Valentine’s Day a major marketing/branding success?
  • Is Valentine’s Day losing its luster?

 

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Gidi Nave

PhD candidate, Computation & Neural Systems, California Institute of Technology

Is Valentine’s Day, in its current form, based more in history or corporate influence?

Valentine ’s Day is an opportunity to show affection. Conveying affection requires putting in some effort or making a sacrifice, otherwise anyone could signal affection easily and be considered a caring attentive lover. This convention, known as the “handicap principle”, is deeply rooted in human nature. In fact we see similar patterns in animal courtship behavior: a peacock’s long colorful tail, for example, allows him to inform females that his genes are good enough (i.e., that he is strong enough) to carry around a heavy tail without being preyed upon. If carrying around a large tail were not costly - this would not be a reliable signal.

Unlike past times in human history, we (most notably after the industrial revolution) live in a world where money can measure effort and sacrifice. Time, on the other hand, is rare - we spend more time at the workplace than ever before. Therefore, instead of writing a beautiful love poem, cooking a romantic dinner or decorating a Valentine’s Day card, corporations and small businesses (e.g., restaurants) alike have successfully convinced us that buying products like chocolate, flowers or industrially made Valentine’s Day cards are credible ways to deliver affection. This is happening around the world, even in places where Valentine’s Day hasn’t been celebrated traditionally, like Japan and Israel – and the numbers show constant increase in money spent on Valentine’s Day. The question of whether buying products is a reliable manner of conveying affection (and if yes, which are the right products), however, is debatable.

What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?

In the age of Twitter and Instagram we can share our Valentine’s Day experiences with others, and even stick our noses into other people’s celebrations. This means that our consumer experience is influenced more than ever by social comparisons. People sometimes form unrealistic expectations based on what they see in social networks, and this might cause dissatisfaction. After all, there will always be someone whose Valentines was more “romantic” than yours. Paradoxically, trying to avoid disappointments can potentially lead to more spending.

Do you have any tips for saving money on Valentine’s Day celebrations?

Valentine’s Day is about showing that you care. This can be done without spending money, but requires effort, time and a partner that appreciates your good intentions. Cooking a romantic dinner, writing a nice poem or taking your partner for a moonlight walk on the beach are not too expensive. I would argue that these are more romantic than buying a ready-made decorated Valentine’s Day card or going to a fancy restaurant.
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Mona Shattell

Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and Professor of Community Psychology, College of Science and Health, DePaul University

Do you have any tips for saving money on Valentine’s Day celebrations?

I think Valentine's Day should be not just about romantic love but should be thought of more broadly, which would include other types of love -- family, friendships, life. Valentine's Day should make us aware and more appreciative of those who we love and this appreciation does not have to cost a lot of money to express. In fact, I believe that the most meaningful expressions of love on and around Valentine's Day are those that cost nothing or little.

For example, handmade cards with a thoughtful handwritten note, taking a walk with the person or persons whom you love while telling each other what you appreciate about the other, preparing a special meal together at home but doing something different (like eat in a different room and/or feed each other). Celebrations of Valentine's Day can be about sharing, in words, what is most meaningful about who you love, why you love, and appreciating that you love.
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M.J. Alhabeeb

Professor of Resource Economics, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Is Valentine’s Day, in its current form, based more in history or corporate influence?

I believe there is a circular relationship between the two effects in which one feeds into the other. The way our free market works, and the corporate structure and culture made events such as Valentine’s, Christmas, Thanksgiving and the likes, are times to remember and count for, and therefore times to spend and buy and derive satisfaction out of the related consumption. Over time, we developed a strong sense of commitment and those events became more sentimental and we started to treat them as opportunities to show our passion, respect, interest, and concern for each other.

Consumer expectations and the increased consumer demand on related products and services motivate the market and keep the wheel of production, innovation, and investment running, and so on.

What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?

I do not think it would ever slow down. Spending in this sector would always stay proportional to the general consumer spending. Rationality dictates that if consumers want to cut down on spending, say in the difficult times, they would do it on items that are either frequently purchased, high-ticketed, can be postponed or skipped or shared, and alike but not on highly sentimental, purchased once a year, and for a special and highly personal reason such as a valentine gift.

Do you have any tips for saving money on Valentine’s Day celebrations?

The best tip I can offer is for people to plan ahead and buy what they need much earlier and not wait for the last days. Also, shopping around, and especially taking advantage of the online search and shopping experience, and knowing the special deals and sales.
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Betsy D. Gelb

Sachnowitz Professor of Marketing & Entrepreneurship, Bauer College of Business, University of Houston

Is Valentine’s Day, in its current form, based more in history or corporate influence?

History matters; corporations could not promote “Get your shoes shined day” as successfully as they can promote a day related to love. But certainly, corporate influence is the critical variable here making it downright necessary for individuals with a love interest to make that interest tangible.

What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?

A box of candy used to handle the recognize-Valentine’s-Day obligation. That’s over for people with the resources to take one’s love interest out to dinner and quite likely also to a concert or play or movie or whatever entertainment is available. Having Valentine’s Day on a Saturday this year intensifies that obligation.

Do you have any tips for saving money on Valentine’s Day celebrations?

I do have a tip: Don’t. The individual you are trying to impress isn’t really so charmed by the offer of a walk in the park as she pretends to be.
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James A. Mourey

Assistant Professor of Marketing, Driehaus College of Business, DePaul University

Is Valentine’s Day, in its current form, based more in history or corporate influence?

The origins of Valentine’s Day date back to roughly 1,000 years ago, and written Valentines messages and cards have been around for roughly 200 years or so. It’s really only within the last 50 years that traditions have extended beyond cards to other gifts. So while companies have certainly commercialized the holiday in the latter part of this past century, the expression of love that serves as the foundation of the holiday has been around for over 1,000 years.

If companies have found a way to make a bit of money out of people’s desire to express their love for one another, that shouldn’t be a terrible thing. It really comes down to consumers willing to purchase more expensive gifts in lieu of cards or handwritten letters that feeds into the frenzy. Sometimes the most romantic of Valentine’s sentiments are the free, handwritten letters comparable to those that would have been sent 200 years ago.

What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?

As one would guess, Valentine’s Day yields a “seasonality” effect for certain goods and services – restaurants/fine dining, hotels/travel, jewelry, etc. – meaning that these products see a spike in sales around the holiday.

From my survey, I think one interesting finding is that some consumers actively look forward not to Valentine’s Day itself but the deeply-discounted chocolates and candy one can buy the days and weeks after Valentine’s Day. Not surprisingly, those people are usually single. Around Valentine’s Day we see increases in web traffic for keywords and phrases like “Valentine’s Day gifts” and “cards” but really not a significantly higher rate of traffic for terms like jewelry, weekend getaway, or surprises, despite those being among the most wanted and appreciated gifts.

Do you have any tips for saving money on Valentine’s Day celebrations?

The results from our survey were rather revealing when it comes to saving money. Perhaps the biggest shock was the highest-rated gift: surprising someone. People actually said they received more joy out of surprising someone than being surprised (which came in at #2). A nice dinner was the third most preferred gift option. The commercialization of the holiday was at the bottom of the list, as was spending money and buying gifts for others. So when it comes to a great gift idea, surprising someone with a home-cooked dinner is not only super affordable, it’s also the most preferred gift!

If you feel obligated to purchase gifts, it turns out that men rank sexy toys and money/gift cards as being more preferred than women do, whereas woman prefer romantic getaways and jewelry.

If you’re wondering how much to spend, well, we see another interesting difference based on gender: women and men both expect the opposite gender to spend approximately the same amount on them: $75. However, women actually anticipate spending less on men ($50) than men anticipate spending on women ($75), so it looks like women come out as winners financially!

Interestingly, people who like Valentine’s Day are both willing to spend more money and expect people to spend more money on them than people who say they do not like Valentine’s Day. Thus, Valentine’s Day is one holiday where bringing out your inner Scrooge can help you hold onto your dollars.

But perhaps the best piece of advice I can give if you want to save money on Valentine’s Day: stay single. Single people expect to spend about $20 on other people during the holiday whereas people in relationships expect to spend about $80 on average on other people, four times as much! Plus, the longer you've been single, the less you plan to spend (the same is NOT true for length of time in a relationship, which does not increase or decrease the anticipated amount spent).

Somewhat humorously, regardless of whether we are single or in a relationship, we expect others to spend about 10% more on us than we plan to spend on them. When it comes to love, it looks like we still love ourselves above all else and think that others should love us more, too…at least 10% more.
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Gary Lewandowski

Chair and Professor of Psychology, Monmouth University

Is Valentine’s Day, in its current form, based more in history or corporate influence?

There are certainly historical roots, but like many other holidays, Valentine’s Day (at least in the United States) is strongly influenced by consumerism. From a relationship scientist’s perspective this is unfortunate because red roses, heart-shaped jewelry, and boxes of chocolates take the focus away from what the holiday could represent: the celebration of a couple’s love.

Do you have any tips for saving money on Valentine’s Day celebrations?

The biggest tip I can offer is that spending a lot of money is not only unnecessary, it may be harmful to the relationship. Recent research on how much couples spend on engagement rings and weddings suggests that spending more money is associated with more relationship problems, including more divorce. All of this suggests that the best Valentine’s Day celebrations may come more from the heart and less from the wallet.
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Christine B. Whelan

Director of MORE: Money, Relationships and Equality and Consumer Science Faculty in the School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?

From the numbers I’ve seen, Valentine’s Day is a more than $14 billion love juggernaut each year, with individuals spending more than $115 on flowers, candy and other symbols of their love.

What’s amazed me this year is the Valentine’s Day toddler marketing, too: On custom card sites, parents are encouraged to get mini-Valentine cards, personalized with a photo, for their toddler to give out in school.

We’re starting ‘em young!

Do you have any tips for saving money on Valentine’s Day celebrations?

The obvious way to save money on Valentine’s Day is to celebrate early — or late. Make Saturday Feb. 14 a Netflix-and-popcorn-at-home evening, and celebrate with a romantic candlelit dinner on Saturday Feb. 21!

I’m also a big fan of home-made gift certificates — so the gift on Valentine’s Day is a promise of a dinner, massage, household chore to be done, at a later date.

Finally, a great modern gift for couples cohabiting, thinking about marriage or married for years would be the gift of financial empowerment this Valentine’s Day. Use these questions to spark discussion about your financial status and division of labor:
  • What are our respective assets and debts?
  • What are our current spending and saving habits?
  • What are the important financial milestones ahead for us in the next few years? How are we going to prepare for them?
  • What roles do each of us play in maintaining our household? (Include paid and unpaid work in this discussion.) Is there something that one of us would like to change or discuss?
  • What are our long-term goals? How will we work together to achieve individual goals while remaining a strong couple?
  • Have we created a will? If so, do we need to update it? If not, what do we want it to say?


When did we become so love focused?

Along with my colleagues Christie Boxer of Adrian College and Mary Noonan of the University of Iowa, we’ve been studying changes in the rise of the love-focus in mate preferences.

It’s the perennial question: What do men and women want in a mate? Since the 1930s, researchers have been asking college men and women to rank 18 characteristics on a scale of unimportant to extremely important – and my, how times have changed!

The headline over seven decades is the rise in importance of love and mutual attraction — and the decline of chastity: Ranked #5 for women and #4 for men in 1939, in 2008, love and mutual attraction is topping the charts for both sexes, while chastity, ranked #10 for both men and women in the 1930s, has plummeted to dead last in 2008. For men, a woman’s education and her ability to earn a good income has become a top-tier priority, while her housekeeping skills have fallen low down on the list of a man’s desired traits, a trend that began in the 1970s survey, and continues today. For women, a man’s desire for a family is on the rise and whether he’s got a “pleasing disposition” seems less important than it was even a decade ago.
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Paul Booth

Associate Professor of New Media and Technology, College of Communication, DePaul University

Is Valentine’s Day, in its current form, based more in history or corporate influence?

As some may know, Valentine's Day has roots in some very old cultures, and our celebration today can trace its ancestry to early Christian cultures. It's still celebrated as a feast day in the Anglican and Lutheran churches. Its background shows us that it's been associated with romance and love from the time of Chaucer, and it's had a long history of present exchange and expressions of love and companionship.

In its present form, the holiday is perhaps most deridingly called a "Hallmark Holiday" because it has become so commoditized -- people buying cards and gifts, balloons and chocolate, is now an expected aspect of the holiday. So although the idea of celebrating love has a very long history on Valentine's Day, it's really only recently that we've equated love with money.

What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?

For the most part, I think of all the major "spending" holidays, Valentine's Day is one of the most consistent in terms of what presents people buy. Because there's so much history associated with romance (and romance associated with history), tradition is very important. Flowers and chocolate are the big gifts. However, I think we're seeing more Valentine's Day presents being given between friends (rather than lovers) as our culture has become more accepting of different forms of love and family, so perhaps we'll see a shift in the types of gifts given as well.

Do you have any tips for saving money on Valentine’s Day celebrations?

The best tip I have to save money for Valentine's Day is to be creative with the gifts. It's important to remember that Valentine's Day is about spending time with your loved one, not about the price tag. A good experience is worth more than an expensive box of chocolates. A nice handmade card, a delicious homemade dinner, a walk on a moonlit night -- these make a memorable Valentine's Day!
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Andrea J. S. Stanaland

Associate Professor of Marketing, Radford University

Is Valentine’s Day, in its current form, based more in history or corporate influence?

Valentine’s Day, like other holidays in American culture, began as something modest but has turned into a full-blown national event. We see the same retail 'creep' that we do with other major holidays, with stores rolling out Valentine's Day merchandise as they clear out the Christmas trees and wrapping paper, sometimes even sooner. For retailers, this fills the holiday void between the Christmas/Hanukkah season and Easter, and they understand that the longer they can stretch the shopping season for a particular holiday, the more money consumers are likely to spend.

But they may not all be doing that spending happily. What's interesting about this holiday, and is evident when I poll students each year as Valentine's Day approaches, is the level of disdain for it among young people. Those not in relationships often feel excluded, whereas people currently in relationships can feel pressure to measure up to social expectations. This is exacerbated by heavy use of social media and the fact that such celebrations are now often displayed in a public fashion. People approach purchase decisions differently when the results are open to the scrutiny of others, and this can increase consumer stress. But of course these same pressures translate into big business for stores and restaurants, so it would appear the yearly focus on over-the-top expressions of affection is here to stay.
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Michael Klassen

Associate Professor of Marketing, University of Northern Iowa

Is Valentine’s Day, in its current form, based more in history or corporate influence?

V-Day has a long tradition that can play a meaningful role in a couple's life, but the behind-the-scenes is dominated by the likes of greeting card companies, the health and beauty industry, and chocolate makers for whom holidays are a potential financial bonanza. Remember that these companies build up inventory for such a holiday - it is their harvest. Unlike bread and milk, there is no week-after-week abiding interest in their products and they must, as the adage goes, make hay while the sun shines.

What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?

Youth and romance are key American values and at least since the sixties, youth have been in the consumer driver's seat. Romance is associated with youth and older people have an opportunity to act and feel young again during these holidays. Boomers brought us "the sexual revolution" and so far, they show no interest in curtailing or greatly altering their love lives, as the millions of dollars in ads for erectile dysfunction suggest.

Do you have any tips for saving money on Valentine’s Day celebrations?

Americans are low on home-time - stay home and cook your loved one a home-made meal (please don't tell Applebee's I suggested this).
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John Jahera

The Bobby Lowder Professor of Finance, Raymond J. Harbert College of Business , Auburn University

Is Valentine’s Day, in its current form, based more in history or corporate influence?

There is both a history and tradition associated with Valentine’s Day. It can be an emotional time when people want to do something special for a loved one. It is also clear that businesses make a lot of money selling items related to Valentine’s Day ranging from jewelry to flowers and candy. All one has to do is look at some of the advertisements on television to understand the influence of businesses. For instance, it is one of the major times of the year for flower and candy sales.

What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?

Surveys have shown that people will likely spend nearly $150 on Valentine’s Day gifts or events for loved ones this year. Despite the financial recession, Valentine’s Day spending seems to increase each and every year. So much of that spending is based on emotions as people use the day to feel better about their loved ones and about themselves too. I would expect spending this year to increase again. A recent survey by the Conference Board indicates that consumer confidence is increasing again and with such confidence comes more spending which is estimated to be over $18 billion in the US. Most money is spent on candy for Valentine’s Day followed by flowers and closely followed by dining out for a special meal.

Do you have any tips for saving money on Valentine’s Day celebrations?

Like any special day, everyone should have some idea of a budget for Valentine’s Day. Then stick to that budget. Be careful to not let impulse drive your purchases. A loved one typically just wants to be remembered so it is important to know that it is not always the amount of money that one spends but rather the thought behind the gift. Many times, simply spending time with a spouse or loved one can be equally meaningful as spending a lot of money.

So the best tip is to know your budget and know your loved one. Find that special Valentine’s gift whether it be a quiet evening at home, dining out, giving flowers, etc.
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Joanne M. Frazier

Associate Professor, Department of Business and Economics, Montgomery College, Rockville

To what extent is Valentine’s Day a major marketing/branding success?

Of course Valentine’s Day is a stroke of marketing genius – marketing is about satisfying needs. Valentine’s Day exploits our deepest desires (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs says we must be accepted socially before we can feel esteem). So the need and desire to be loved is demonstrated with an endless litany of man-made expressions – a candy heart, roses, jewelry, a dinner out, a grand gesture that includes all of those things, etc. Whether an individual admits buying in or not, receiving these things is a demonstration of acceptance and love that leads to a higher level of personal esteem – I am loved enough to get these things, so I feel good about myself or I have not received these things and therefore I feel bad about myself.

From a branding standpoint, that depends on the work of the brand itself and how well they. Valentine’s Day is an event, not a brand.

I don’t follow the trends, but I do know that every restaurant of note is packed, every florist is busy and every CVS has lines of people buying cards and candy at the last minute. I personally assembled a variety of Valentine’s Day packages to everyone from my son in college, my girlfriends, and my sister, mom and niece. I made heart shaped cookies for my husband and neighbors, and was disappointed that we were out of town so I didn’t get my annual roses.

Is Valentine’s Day losing its luster?

I don’t think so.
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Darrin Duber-Smith

Professor, Department of Marketing, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Is Valentine’s Day based more in history or corporate influence?

When you consider all of the distractions with Black Friday taking away from Christmas, Valentine’s Day is very, very different. It’s really driven by female members of the population who want to be recognized for their contribution to society, and that’s the bottom line.

It’s a Hallmark Holiday, like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, so it’s one of those compulsory, ‘if you don’t do this, this will happen’ kind of holidays. There’s a lot of guilt built into it, created to drive revenue. It’s loosely based on St. Valentine, but the idea of Valentine’s Day is really a creation of the companies – kind of like Santa was a creation of Coca-Cola. Not many people know that. That’s why he’s red and white. So they kind of took an ancient myth and then a real person who lived in Germany in the 1800s, and Coca-Cola kind of turned it into the image of Santa Claus that we all see. That’s a revenue driver too.

It’s insidious, isn’t it? But, you know, it ain’t goin’ away. It isn’t going away because it’s being driven by an entire gender. It’s part of our culture now. It’s just something you have to do.

Is Valentine’s Day losing its luster?

With the economy of robbing Peter to pay Paul, people will spend at different times of the year no matter what. This is one of those times of the year when people spend. So no, I really don’t see it losing its luster.

I see it as a very relevant part of our culture. It’s is definitely a very relevant part of our economy. It’s definitely a marketing machine. It’s kind of like Christmas, where people have been complaining that it’s too commercialized for decades, but has anybody really done anything about it?

There’s too much social pressure to participate. It’s not going to go away because of that social pressure.
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Jack Kasulis

Interim Division Director, Associate Professor of Marketing, Price College of Business, University of Oklahoma

Is Valentine’s Day based more in history or corporate influence?

The magnitude of sales reflects strong marketing.

To what extent is Valentine’s Day a major marketing/branding success?

Without the strong marketing push in terms of reminders, new gift ideas, and convenient delivery options, VD would not be as visible.

Is Valentine’s Day losing its luster?

Compared to fifty years ago, it is substantially stronger. Recent trends reflect a greater diversity in the way the day is expressed. This reveals an increasingly diverse population and an increased desire to provide a unique experience. Demand for individualization is associated with high levels of discretionary income.

What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?

Economic well being influences the size of the gift, sentimentality is expressed regardless of economic conditions.
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Victor Harris

Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, University of Florida

Is Valentine’s Day based more in history or corporate influence?

It would seem that it is more corporate influence since, originally, it was not based on romance at all but it was celebrated to commemorate the martyrdoms of several Christian saints named “Valentine.”

To what extent is Valentine’s Day a major marketing/branding success?

Apparently, over 190 million valentines are mailed each year along with chocolates, flowers, dinner, balloons, candy, etc. that are all now associated with celebrating Valentine’s Day. It has become a multi-billion dollar industry.

Is Valentine’s Day losing its luster?

I think so. It seems like some people are feeling the commercialism associated with forced romance. For those who aren’t in a romantic relationship, Valentine’s Day can also remind them of this fact and so Valentine’s Day may also become a negative experience for these people, as well. Many people simply feel pressure to spend money and to force romance rather than let it happen naturally.

What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?

Great question. It would make sense that a higher SES level would generally equate to higher levels of spending on this and other holidays.
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Pat Pesci

Instructor of Hospitality Management, Kansas State University

Is Valentine’s Day based more in history or corporate influence?

I am not sure I know the history behind it. However, it appears to be a good reason to do something nice to that special person. I just got an e-mail from my local florist with suggestions for flowers.

To what extent is Valentine’s Day a major marketing/branding success?

I believe it helps give customers a reason to celebrate. Some people may stay home because “it’s too busy to go out” However, I have known some couples that have gone to a nice restaurant and have gotten engaged because of this event.

Is Valentine’s Day losing its luster?

It depends… A senior population with disposable incomes would be a good market. College students in the hospitality management program that work in restaurants like the tips on this busy day.

What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?

The restaurant people tell me sales and spending are up. People need a reason to go out to dine and this is another option to many.
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Michael I. Norton

Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Is Valentine’s Day based more in history or corporate influence?

One reason that Valentine’s Day (and other holidays – think Mother’s Day, and Thanksgiving) are important is that they serve to remind us to take time to value our social relationships. Giving gifts to our partners and to our mothers, and giving thanks while gathered with our families are all events that serve to bring people closer together, and there is nothing more important for human well-being than social connection and social support.

So, even though some holidays have become increasingly commercialized, the underlying meaning makes them an important rite with real benefits for those who participate in them.
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Janet Wagner

Associate Professor & Director, Center for Excellence in Service, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

Is Valentine’s Day based more in history or corporate influence?

Valentine’s Day and gift-giving is a tradition embedded in western culture, which is a very powerful force. The major corporate influence on celebrating it is to remind people that it occurs on February 14, and suggest gifts. Both forces are at work.

To what extent is Valentine’s Day a major marketing/branding success?

In marketing, we measure success in terms of our ability to meet performance goals. For retailers, this usually means reaching sales goals that were set earlier. Each retailer will determine whether or not the holiday is a success based on this metric.

You could consider Valentine’s Day a “branded” event. This is a good example of marketers being able to reinforce a set of positive associations (e.g., love) around a holiday.

Is Valentine’s Day losing its luster?

According to the NRF website, a smaller percentage of the population reports celebrating it this year. There is no evidence that this is part of a trend, however. Valentine’s Day doesn’t carry much in the way of political baggage, so I don’t expect it to become less popular.

The major reason for fewer people participating appears to be the economy. Another factor to consider is that what people say they are going to do in surveys and what they actually do is often different. As the holiday gets closer, people who say they aren’t going to buy gifts may, in fact, do so.
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James Dean

Professor, Department of English, University of Delaware

Is Valentine’s Day based more in history or corporate influence?

I would put it this way: Corporate influence continues to be very strong, but corporations are capitalizing on authentic emotions – romantic love – that have historical roots. People don’t necessarily know the history of Valentine’s Day, but they know it has been observed for a good long time, and I think that is part of the Day’s appeal.

It is a good excuse for honoring one’s partner during the chilly days of the year. Some companies will take advantage of the Day’s emotions better than others.

To what extent is Valentine’s Day a major marketing/branding success?

I have noticed that items on sale for VD appear in businesses – supermarkets and drug stores, for example – very quickly after Christmas/New Year’s. Media advertisements appear in newspapers and television reinforcing well-known brands such as the Whitman’s Sampler, Zales, and even Pajamagrams – supposedly a present for women but actually more of a gift to males.

I note, by the way, and I’m certrain you are aware, that Saudi Arabian authorities have banned the sale of all things red in anticipation of Muslims celebrating a non-Muslim holiday.

Is Valentine’s Day losing its luster?

Valentine’s Day seems to have lost its spontaneity in many situations, but people will still express their emotions through romantic cards, flowers, or candies. Those are clichés, or course, but they also can have meaning.

To change your metaphor a bit, I would say that for some romantic lovers, Valentine’s Day does not have quite the same meaning as in the past. That may have more to do with the nature of love than the observances of Valentine’s Day. VD is perhaps in some danger of being hijacked, but celebrants will find a way to make the day their own.
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Angela Lee

Mechthild Esser Nemmers Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Is Valentine’s Day based more in history or corporate influence?

Certain holidays that have religious origins such as Christmas, Easter and even Valentine’s Day do have legitimate historical roots. I think it is really a mix of corporate creations and historical roots that led to what people celebrate today.
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Nancy Armstrong

Gilbert, Louis, and Edward Lehrman Professor of English, Department of English, Duke University

Is Valentine’s Day based more in history or corporate influence?

A long history of corporate influence.

To what extent is Valentine’s Day a major marketing/branding success?

To a substantial extent. What else is it but a marketing/branding success without basis in any patriotic or religious event/holiday?

What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?

For a while there, men were giving suburban wives little red Audis. Now we’re back to candy and dinners out.
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Cait Poynor Lamberton

Fryrear Faculty Fellow and Assistant Professor of Business Administration, University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

Is Valentine’s Day based more in history or corporate influence?

Valentine’s Day has deep historical roots, coming from the Feast or Commemoration of St. Valentine. This day is observed as a holy day by multiple Christian groups (though the date of its observance differs.)

The romantic connotations related to Valentine’s Day can probably be traced back to Chaucer, who aligned it with the time when birds might seek out their mates. Giving lacy ‘Valentines’ dates back to about the 1850’s in the US; the widespread commercialization of the holiday probably began in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
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Heather Evans

Professor of Literature, Department of English, Queen’s University

Is Valentine’s Day based more in history or corporate influence?

While nostalgia or a yearning for what is believed to be traditional may play a role, the corporate influence seems to have predominated for quite some time. History may have inspired some of the customs and tropes with which we have become familiar, including the giving of greeting cards and small gifts, or the iconography of flowers, hearts and cherubic Cupids. But it took a concerted effort on the part of manufacturers and sellers to transform a relatively small-scale celebration into a spectacle on a grand scale. Significant corporate campaigns are evident in the middle of the nineteenth century, for instance, after interest in the festival had waned, and in the 1930s, after war had taken its toll on the celebration of Valentine’s Day.

In its early days, Valentine’s Day festivities among ordinary folk were marked by the drawing of lots to pair “lovers” for a day, games of divination designed to reveal a future lover or husband, or festive celebrations marked by raucous amusements with perhaps a hint of sexual license to make things interesting. In this sense, the historical Valentine’s Day was far more about bringing the community together for some fun and frolic, than it was about affirming the bonds between the members of individual couples or pairs of lovers. But bringing together a community for some lighthearted amusements is less lucrative than fostering expectations that every couple or pair of lovers should take the opportunity to demonstrate their love and affection for each other through dinners, flowers, confectionary, and gifts.

Perhaps the very earliest roots of our current Valentine’s Day spending mania are hinted at in the version of the festival as it was practiced among the aristocracy. In the late Middle Ages and early modern period, for instance, the giving of gifts and the presentation of amorous (often even sexually cheeky) rhymes or verses was part of the performance of courtly manners; here again, although these amusements involved the purchasing and giving of love tokens, the activities were more about collectively celebrating the performance of certain kinds of amatory behavior than they were about recognizing individual affective relationships.

In the nineteenth century, the tendency to associate the showing of love or affection with the showering of gifts was increasingly embraced by the growing middle class who relished any opportunity to display their socio-economic strengths.

Corporate influence is also evident in the efforts to revive customs after historical events have quieted them. For example, interest in Valentine’s Day lulled towards the end of the nineteenth century and even more so during and after the Great War. Greeting card manufacturers, confectioners, and florists actively campaigned to revive the holiday, contributing to a trajectory of Valentine’s Day spending that has increased, more or less, throughout the past half century or so.

To what extent is Valentine’s Day a major marketing/branding success?

In its current incarnation it is almost entirely a marketing or branding success. Few people know or attend to many of the old traditions associated with Valentine’s Day: how many people, for instance, practice some of the old rituals of divining a future lover that characterized Valentine’s Day entertainments in the eighteenth century?

The popularity of most festivals and holidays comes and goes over the centuries. An article in The London Times in 1932, for instance, notes that “An attempt initiated in 1926 by the late Sir Adolph Tuck [a major card manufacturer] to revive the old customs of celebrating St. Valentine’s Day. . . by the interchange of Valentine cards has. . . met with increasing success in the years that have followed.” This reminds us that the popularity of Valentine’s Day had waned in the early part of the twentieth century, in large part as resources that might have been used in greeting cards and confectionary packaging (e.g. foil) were redirected towards the war effort, and as war robbed people of their loved ones.

The history of greeting cards is itself telling of the extent to which Valentine’s Day celebrants have allowed their sentiments to be prescribed for them through commercial products and merchandise. The earliest Valentines were made by hand and required the giver to write his message by hand into the card. By the end of the eighteenth century, books (known as valentine writers) were available that offered verses and short sayings that might be written in to the card; the message in the card may have been composed by someone else, but at least it was inscribed into the card in the giver’s own hand. As commercial Valentine’s Day cards became increasingly available in the second half of the nineteenth century, they increasingly co-opted the role of expressing the giver’s supposed sentiments. Popular commercially manufactured greeting cards now are already likewise inscribed with a message, requiring the giver to do little more than address the card and sign his name. The card, or more accurately the manufacturer of the card, speaks for the Valentine giver. What used to be a unique, handmade vehicle through which to express individual and personal sentiments has become a means by which thousands of purchasers of the very same card might avoid articulating their affection or expressing unique or individual sentiments. The card has transformed from being an expression of one’s sentiments to being merely a display of one’s ability to select a good card that speaks on behalf of the purchaser.

Similarly, in the early days of commercially produced Valentine’s Day cards, the card was the gift. Manufacturers produced increasingly elaborate cards that might include lace or silk, feather, movable parts, perfume, a fan, or music. The card might be accompanied by a small gift – a pair of gloves, a pincushion, a handkerchief, or a small box of confectionary – but the focus was on the card as the gift; little more was required of the lover than the selection and presentation of a suitable card for the object of his affection. (At the same time, manufacturers and advertisers started encouraging consumers to think of valentines as suitable gifts for children, or for exchange between family members or same-sex friends, thereby significantly expanding the Valentine’s Day market.) In the later decades of the twentieth century, the card shifted to the background as larger gifts were touted as more meaningful measures of love and affection. Now the card typically serves as little more than a convenient cover letter for the real star of the show, whether it be chocolate, jewelry, or some other indulgence.

Is Valentine’s Day losing its luster?

Possibly, yes, but ebb and flow in popularity is characteristic of most holidays, festivals, and celebrations. Periodicals from the early decades of the nineteenth century, for instance, show relatively little interest in Valentine’s Day, but by mid-century, the holiday had taken on a new life, not coincidentally alongside the growth of the periodical press with its reliance on advertising, and the development of technologies and other socio-historical phenomena that allowed for the increasing ease and decreasing cost of production and mailing of greeting cards.

For decades, characteristic of sentiments associated with Valentine’s Day has been a certain cynicism about the supposedly manipulative and crass commercialism of the festival. But much like Christmas, which would hardly exist in a form that many of us would recognize were it not for commercial ventures and increased spending associated with it, Valentine’s Day exists as a product of advertising, marketing, manufacturing, and hospitality service; in short, it is a product of commercialism.

Where it may be failing people is through its emphasis on heterosexual amatory relationships. Much commercial merchandise may fail to appeal to people whose amatory relationships do not conform to conventional heterosexual normativity.

However, as people increasingly share the minutiae of their lives with masses of people via social media, their engagement with and performance of conventional Valentine’s Day rituals and customs are increasingly on display. It is no longer sufficient to give a bouquet of flowers and enjoy a quiet dinner in cozy restaurant when the whole world may be watching: writ large on the internet, such a conventional gesture pales in comparison with elaborately orchestrated song-and-dance expressions of eternal love or marriage proposals that are (perhaps narcissistically) displayed on YouTube for the whole world to covet, envy, or ridicule.

What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?

Undoubtedly, consumer confidence in their financial security plays a role in the performance of Valentine’s Day spending.
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Jennifer Theiss

Associate Professor, School of Communication and Information, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Is Valentine’s Day based more in history or corporate influence?

The expectations that people have for Valentine’s Day are mostly socially constructed. We learn what is appropriate or expected for a romantic holiday as much by watching the romantic gestures of our friends and neighbors as we do by the commercials selling diamond earrings and bouquets of roses.

To what extent is Valentine’s Day a major marketing/branding success?

Given that people evaluate their relationship and sometimes make determinations of whether to stay together or break-up based on whether or not a partner lived up to some socially constructed corporate idea of romance, I would say that efforts to market the holiday are pretty successful.

Is Valentine’s Day losing its luster?

Interestingly, the month of February has the highest rate of break-ups compared to any other month. Couples are five times more likely to break up in February than any other month. Individuals may end their romantic relationship prior to Valentine’s Day to avoid the expense associated with the holiday, while those who make it through February 14 may break up afterward if they felt that their partner didn’t live up to expectations for a romantic holiday. I think this evidence suggests that the expectations surrounding Valentine’s Day are as strong as ever.
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Vicki R. Lane

Associate Professor of Marketing, Business School, University of Colorado, Denver

What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?

Consumer behavior is often symbolic about a person’s self-concept. That is certainly true about items bought to celebrate Valentine’s Day. A guy may feel he has to spend money, even when in short supply, on flowers, candy, dinner, or jewelry in order to live up to and project his self-image. The girl on the receiving end feels special when her friends exclaim enviously that her guy is a sweetheart. For a day, he is Prince Charming and she is a Disney Princess. Some of these same items can be bought a few days later for substantially less, perhaps discounted up to 50%. But they symbolize something unique when purchased on Valentine’s Day, when society prescribes.
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Tim Buzzell

Professor of Sociology, Department of History, Political Science & Sociology, Baker University

Is Valentine’s Day based more in history or corporate influence?

It seems to me that older calendrical rites like Valentine’s Day or Christmas are re-invented to meet the cultural themes of a particular period (note they don’t tend to disappear altogether). Holidays typically borrow from rituals of the past to construct re-arrangements for the present. I think holidays continually change. For example, February 14 was marked in Elizabethan England as a time for divination or commemorating love by writing on a slip of paper the name of someone you love. Customs of the time were associated with the fashions and tastes of Court. Aristocratic observances shaped cultural tastes and customs. Today we have borrowed this ritual of sending messages to someone we love and incorporated that into making our own Valentine greetings in grade school, or mailing a card, or sending flowers. So we re-invent practices to reflect the period. This is especially true for the more “established” holidays – that with centuries old traditions to borrow from.

But, new calendrical rites pop up as a result of more organized efforts to change social practice, led typically by what we call moral entrepreneurs. These leaders are good at framing a moral argument about honoring mother or someone you love to the extent that the frame resonates with others in society and achieves “widespread” support.

Fast forward to the 19th century – business (not Court) played a role in shaping fashion and taste around gift giving during holidays, including Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Mother’s Day was placed on the calendar as a holiday thanks to the movement started by Anna Jarvis. This movement was characterized by religious themes, and its success was perhaps attributed to its fit with other cultural and social reforms of the early 1900s.

Some have concluded the religious movements during the 1910s and 1920s were in reaction to industrialization and social changes in family, agrarian life, and politics. For instance, the definition of motherhood and domesticity was changing during the Industrial Revolution. It seems Anna Jarvis put forth a moral argument for preserving a cultural image of motherhood that she feared might be lost in an era of expanding capitalism.

Eventually, it would appear that some early 20th century social movements then become transformed by late 20th century consumer frames. This goes back to your first question about the role of corporations. There is a historical ebb and flow here (perhaps we call it a cultural dialectic?) (Thanksgiving is another good example.)

I think each holiday has its own unique history and place in society. It seems to me that holy-days have to be understood in the broader social and cultural movements of their era.
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Peter Marston

Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication, California State University, Northridge

Is Valentine’s Day based more in history or corporate influence?

I think it is most accurate to say that Valentine’s Day is a cultural tradition. As such it has a certain history and as such it is serviced or exploited by commercial enterprises, depending upon one’s political view. At this point in time, it seems the commericial aspects are dominant, in part because of the ubiquity of Valentine’s Day messages in advertising and in part because the cultural tradition is fragmenting, with people choosing to abstain from participating (in what many perceive to be a backlash against the commercial aspects) and electing to find more personal ways of participating (including simple text or phone messages and the increasingly popular gifts in kind).

To what extent is Valentine’s Day a major marketing/branding success?

It is obviously a significant success as a lot of product is moved. However, this success is tempered by a general impression that the holiday is overly commerical. Much like Christmas, Valentine’s Day is a commerical success, but leaves a bad taste in mouths of many.

Is Valentine’s Day losing its luster?

I wouldn’t say luster, but I would say significance. Again, we have the fragmentation of the tradition with people doing their own thing rather than participating in more conventional ways. Another important aspect of the loss of significance over the last few decades is the emergence of President’s Day weekend as a common travel weekend. The effort directing toward planning and paying for President’s Day weekend activities was, in part, displaced the effort that may have been directed toward Valentine’s Day in the past. Similarly, many people are willing to accept less involved celebrations of Valentine’s Day as sort of a trade-off for more involved celebrations of President’s Day weekend.

What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?

I wouldn’t say luster, but I would say significance. Again, we have the fragmentation of the tradition with people doing their own thing rather than participating in more conventional ways. Another important aspect of the loss of significance over the last few decades is the emergence of President’s Day weekend as a common travel weekend. The effort directing toward planning and paying for President’s Day weekend activities was, in part, displaced the effort that may have been directed toward Valentine’s Day in the past. Similarly, many people are willing to accept less involved celebrations of Valentine’s Day as sort of a trade-off for more involved celebrations of President’s Day weekend.

 
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