Most of today’s gifts and celebrations are entirely unoriginal.
Over the past few decades, Valentine’s Day has largely become a consumer-driven holiday (Americans spent $18.9 billion in 2015 on gifts and celebrations for the day, Forbes.com reported), but new evidence suggests that more Americans want to spend less money and more time with their loved ones this year.
Habits like purchasing gifts and shelling out on romantic dinners are expected to decrease by 8 percent this year, the New York Post reports. The drop in spending is not because Americans don’t like the holiday—it’s the result of a new attitude: Couples nowadays want to celebrate their love year-round and do it in less expensive ways. “I’m not surprised that Valentine’s Day has become a holiday in which people say, ‘I don’t need to spend money,'” Candace Corlett, the president of WSL Strategic Retail told the New York Post. “There’s a mindset now that says, ‘Let’s celebrate our time together.'”
With this new sentimental (and cost-effective) outlook in mind, here are seven bygone Valentine’s Day traditions that we’d like to see make a comeback. They’re all things you can do for free (or practically free), which will help put the emphasis on making memories with your spouse, friends, and family members.
Gifting purse puzzles
Exchanging Funny Cards
Giving reusable chocolate boxes
One tradition that seems to have disappeared completely is the exchanging of ornate chocolate boxes. Richard Cadbury, the heir of the renowned British chocolate empire, is credited with creating the first heart-shaped box for the holiday, according to History.com. He purposely sold chocolates in a beautiful box hoping the customers would treasure the pretty packing and use it again to store other items like love letters. (In fact, antique Victorian-era Cadbury boxes exist today and are considered valuable heirlooms.)
This year, instead of giving chocolates and candies in cheap, plastic packaging, place your treats in a beautiful box worthy of holding onto forever. Who knows, maybe your box will be a collectible one day, too!