“Be mine.” “You’re cute when you’re spending money.” That is what candy-makers, florists, jewelers, card manufacturers and numerous other retailers across the nation are thinking this week.

According to the National Retail Federation’s website, Americans are expected to spend more than 18.9 billion on the holiday this year; a record high. The average consumer will spend nearly 142 on the holiday, the NRF stated.

Wait, I’m sure some of you would say, isn’t that kind of pricey? Perhaps, yes.

If you look at your traditional Valentine’s Day celebration, and it begins to make sense: Valentine’s Day card, 4, dozen red roses, 70; box of chocolates, 12; dinner for two at a nice restaurant, 75 … And that’s just the surface-level stuff.

If you really love your significant other, as told from jewelry commercials, only a diamond guaranteed to make your loved one’s hand drag along the floor as you enter the restaurant will really portray the depth of your love.

Obviously that’s an exaggeration. But it is true that Valentine’s Day, like Christmas, has become increasingly commercialized, making it easy to ignore true sentiment and meaning in favor of rote gesture. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can be an opportunity to express your feelings to a loved one.

And Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be about romantic love. Take this opportunity to tell your parents you love them, and/or hug your dog or cat. The National Retail Foundation said, “a record one in five (21.2 percent) say they will include Fluffy and Fido in their Valentine’s Day plans.”

Someone who truly cares for you is more likely to remember a thoughtful act than focus on the dollar amount involved with a gift.

The main focus should be the feelings. Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love, and the best gift you can give your loved one is letting him or her know how much you care.

If Starbucks helps you convey that message, then you best be making your way to your local Starbucks.

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