To V or not to V
Though hearts may be full on Valentine’s Day, some wallets may be empty. No thanks to the global recession that is threatening to put Cupid out of job.
To V or not to V, that is the question. Recession may be taking a bite out of Valentine’s Day, making even the incurable romantics hopelessly blue, but love still makes the world go around. So, tons of Valentine cards with all those schmaltzy love messages will still sell like the proverbial hotcakes (in the US, the business of selling Valentine cards is next only to Christmas cards). Valentine cards will still be signed, sealed, delivered all over the world. Of course, Valentine e-cards are faster than snail mail and perhaps just as romantic.
Most consumers will still buy the traditional favorite V-Day gifts, such as flowers, chocolates — or even jewelry (if you have a big heart and a matching humongous budget) — but in downsized versions, like maybe just three roses instead of a dozen or a big bar of Toblerone instead of a box of Lindt chocolates.
The lovestruck but cash-strapped will still be shopping for the perfect Valentine gifts for their loved ones, but they will be smarter as they’re restricted by budgets and fixed amounts. The down-to-earth will opt for practical gifts like a live plant instead of cut flowers for Mom, a special friend, a favorite teacher, a boss, a co-worker, etc. Why, if it’s a rose plant, with tender loving care, it would have produced blooms by the next Valentine!
Other top Valentine gift ideas for these tough and stressful times are spa gift certificates to ease life’s stresses, CDs of romantic songs to relax with after a hard day’s work, or even tickets for two to the Peter Cetera Valentine concert at the Araneta Coliseum.
There are the homemade gifts, too, you can make yourself. Like, if you can, why not bake brownies or cupcakes for Mom? Of course, last year, you gave Mom a wrinkle remover, and the year before that, the wrinkles.
Couples will still be dining out, but the more practical ones will opt for a homecooked dinner. It’s worth the effort because you don’t have to worry about the kids, about battling traffic, reserving seats in your favorite restaurant (which is probably booked solid), and getting home too late.
But of course, it’s business as usual on Valentine’s Day. As the president and CEO of the National Retail Federation in the US Tracy Mullin says, “A bad economy won’t stop Cupid, but it might slow him down.”
By CHING M. ALANO
Date: Updated February 10, 2009 12:00 AM