This weekend was supposed to be the weekend of love. A weekend where Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday, giving couples ample opportunity to express their adoration in a number of ways.

But instead of being an enchanting weekend full of warm thoughts and meaningful gestures, many of us were left with just another subzero day in February.

If this is you, you’re not alone. According to thousands of people surveyed, Valentines enthusiasm was down by 70% this year.

I was among this statistic. Looking back, I think the gift from my husband was not having to sit down to the usual Netflix series about serial killers, where usually the wife dies. Instead, I was delighted to see a rom-com starring Reese Witherspoon. I think that was intentional, and it didn’t go unnoticed.

I surveyed some friends to see how their Valentine’s Day went. A couple had similar experiences and received something equivalent to a rock or a used shoe. So this left me wondering what happened this year? Was lack of gift giving another symptom of COVID?

According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, 74% of Americans said the pandemic would directly impact their plans for Valentine’s Day. Though 73% said they plan on celebrating the holiday in some form.

Some of the highlights of the survey were as follows:

Only 24% of consumers planned to have an evening out, the lowest in the survey’s history. However, 41% said they will plan a special dinner at home.

Those planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day were expected to spend an average of $164.76, an average that is down from $32 per person last year.

Consumers said they will spend an average of $10.77 on their children’s classmates and teachers this year, down from $14.45 in 2020.

The most popular Valentine’s Day shopping destination this year was expected to be online, with 39% listing that as the most popular source. Department stores are next at 29%, followed by discount stores at 28%.

The most popular gifts were expected to be candy (54%), greeting cards (44%) and flowers (36%).

The survey called for people to comment on the article as to why they were hesitant to spend money on Valentines. Apparently no one cared enough to comment.  

But back to Valentines at our house. To be fair, Mark did do the dishes in the morning. All the dishes. Even the pots and pans. And we did join friends for dinner on Thursday night last week, which could be considered a pseudo-Valentines I suppose.

And I guess I did make the comment to our friends in jest that “this will probably be our Valentines celebration.” Mark did seem very pleased with that comment as it was a mini-miracle getting him out on a weekday night for a social event in less than balmy temperatures.

So looking back, I guess Valentines wasn’t a complete Failentines.

Traci LeBrun is the editor of the Messenger.

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