Valentine’s Day, yet again…

We make fun and call it “National Forced Affection Day” (NFAD) around
our house. But it’s big business.

The National Retail Federation did a survey of 8900+ consumers in their 2011 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey They found that the
average person will shell out $116.21 on traditional Valentine’s Day merchandise this year, up 11 percent over last year’s $103.00. Men spend twice
as much as women. Total holiday spending is expected to reach $15.7 billion. The main categories of consumer spending include $3.5 billion on jewelry, $1.6 billion on clothing (didn’t say what kind, heh!), $1.5 billion on candy and $1.1 billion on greeting cards. $3.4 billion will be spent on dining out. With $1.7 billion worth of  flowers sold, it is, by far, the most important (and stressful) holiday for the floral industry, including growers, wholesalers, and florists.

If you do choose to participate in NFAD,  please spend your dollars in the floriculture sector, but take a look at some of the alternatives to red roses.
Plant-based alternatives, that is. You can choose to follow the herd and cough up $39.95 for a dozen scentless, soon-to-be lifeless red roses. Nothing is more depressing than a vase full of roses with bent neck – that signature wilt that indicates water is not making it all the way to the flower – usually due to a bacterial clog in the pipes.

Alternative: for $19.95, thrill him/ her with a lovely Phalaenopsis (moth orchid) to grace a desk or windowsill. Now, I’ve killed my share of orchids, but this symbol of your affection will last a LOT longer than roses with just a bit of care (indirect light and do not overwater!).


Or perhaps a florist Cyclamen – comes in all the requisite VD colors of pink, white, and red. Really tough little plants – if you forget to water them for several weeks, they’ll often just go dormant. Let them rest for a while longer, pull off the dead leaves, and commence reviving them with frequent waterings and a little bit of fertilizer – they will bloom again.

Just some suggestions for those so inclined.  Alas, I know what I’ll be getting…squat, with a big red bow.

7 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day, yet again…”

  1. For those of you lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe’s or Costco, both places have a great assortment of potted orchids at killer prices…

  2. “Or perhaps a florist Cyclamen – comes in all the requisite VD colors of pink, white, and red.”
    If VD is a requisite, perhaps include a pack of Trojans.

  3. Thank you ! Not that we participate in NFAD (love that !), but if someone were to give me a floral gift, I’d so much rather it have roots attached. Perhaps you could re-post this around Mother’s Day & my birthday ?

  4. Youch! Dr. Shuman was just called out. Cyclamen – good thought – they’re so cute! Definite bonus points for sending flowers other than roses, but don’t forget the card. It doesn’t matter what you d
    o the day before or after Valentine’s Day, you better have a card on the big day. Incidentally, women can give gifts too – I’ll never forget unwrapping 4 packages of beef jerky in grad school…I married that woman 🙂

  5. I think fresh flowers make Chicago winters just a bit more tolerable. Plus it is such a short commitment, esp. if you are overwintering other plants, doesn’t have to be roses.

  6. Ha! Thanks for the comments. Lisab, I didn’t mean to leave out non-rose cut flowers – you’re right! I pick them up all the time. Linda, alas, we have neither. Actually a big deal when Target finally came to town…

  7. I like the idea of having a real plant, flower or such, keep the sustainability of the gift that you are giving. This is a great post with some wonderful ideas.

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