The History, Trials and Tribulations of Creating a Holiday for Men

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Valentine’s Day has a long history going back many centuries.  In the 14th century, it was declared to be an “official day of romance”.   It is celebrated all over the world, but different cultures have “modified” the celebration of Valentine’s day to fit their ideological, theological or cultural beliefs. 

National Guy's Valentine's Day March 14 ... the original Steak Day

In the 19th century, Cadbury chocolates created a new process to create many different types and flavors of chocolates, and jumped on Valentine’s Day to promote their new delicacies. 

It was also during this time that the first Valentine’s Card was sent. 

From there, it wasn’t long before Hallmark jumped on the bandwagon and was producing Valentine’s cards by 1916. 

By the way, that contradicts the popularly held theory that the greeting card companies and confectioners created Valentine’s Day!

From this point in history, the story begins to change based on the country celebrating this holiday.  In the United States, it is a holiday in which anyone of any age can share Valentine’s greetings to anyone else, regardless of relationship status.  Although the holiday is actually intended for celebration by both people in the relationship, men spend the most amount of time choosing gifts and give the most gifts to women.  Because of this, the holiday is centered on the female, instead of the male.

Over the years, surveys have proven that the public thinks of the holiday as one that is centered on the female.  Some surveys have been taken among high school students, confirming that today’s younger generation still feels the holiday is for women.  Sales back up these numbers with men spending an average of $338USD while women spend only $64USD on the holiday.

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This is a great time to ask you to LIKE NATIONAL GUY’S VALENTINE’S DAY Facebook page! We can’t make this great holiday grow without your help. Like the page; share a post to your friends asking them to like the page — A special holiday for your special guys!

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That generalization holds true in other similar stores like LoveWorks® that cater to gifts designed for relationships.  More sales will be made by men than those sales made by couples and females combined.

In Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, Taiwan and others, the majority of sales aren’t being made to men, and the majority of gifts aren’t being given to women.  The majority of gift givers in Asian countries are women.  Since men were receiving all the gifts from women, a new reverse holiday was created called “White Day”. 

White Day was created in 1978, and occurs on March 14, and is when men are expected to “return the favor” and buy gifts for women who previously gave gifts to them.  This also fulfills the Asian customs and expected etiquette in which one always gives a gift to any person who has given them a gift. 

There is an interesting twist or custom that people in some countries such as the Philippines unofficially apply to White Day.  Men may not give gifts to any woman who did not gift them on Valentine’s Day! 

In the USA, our customs were the opposite.  Men were buying the majority of gifts for women on Valentine’s day, and a group of men began protesting (tongue-in-cheek) that they should have a special day for them – where women provided the gifts to demonstrate their affection and appreciation.

In 2002, a male radio station disc jockey joked about the creation of a special day for men.  The name of the holiday they created was not politically correct, and was aimed at adults only, and was not meant to “stick” as an actual holiday. 

The naming of this day utilized an inappropriate adult phrase and created consternation and anger.  Because of this, children and young students were prohibited from any participation or education about the new holiday.  Newspapers, radio stations and other businesses were unable or unwilling to participate in the holiday because of the holiday’s given name and what it stood for. 

In 2016, “LoveWorks®”, Louisiana company, decided to jump into the fray and save the March 14 holiday with a name that could be appreciated by all people, of all backgrounds, education, religion, and age.  The revised holiday was named “National Guy’s Valentine’s Day”. 

March 14 is about the men.  “National Guy’s Valentine’s Day is a little like a Sadie Hawkins event”, company spokesperson Heather Williams tells, “because the women are expected to take charge, make the plans, make the dinner reservations and buy any gifts.  They guys only need to show up!”

Valentine’s Day is changing.  In 2020, almost 50% of all valentine related purchasing was by men and for women who were not in a romantic relationship, including office co-workers, friends and others.  That change is not affecting the main consumer – men are still outspending females and couples 5-to-1.

LoveWorks®’ intent in getting behind this updated holiday is to bring appreciation back to men; acknowledging them as the center of attention for one day.  Williams explains, “Guys are rarely the ones getting the attention they need (but won’t admit to needing) from their partners, and their partner’s families.  We want to encourage a broader base of people to show their appreciation and affection for the men in their lives”.

To do this, the holiday needed to be rebranded as a “family friendly” holiday that is safe for work, school and church.  “National Guy’s Valentine’s Day” meets those needs and is a reminder of who the special day is for.

National Guy’s Valentine’s Day” is being promoted as a day when anyone can appreciate a guy in their life, and make them the center of attention for a day.  There are no rules that you must be in a relationship with the guy you want to reward.  Potential in-laws, close friends, co-workers and more can all join in to make some lucky guy feel special and feel appreciated. 

Guys can celebrate with their best friends as well, by organizing, taking (and paying) for their best bros to have a nice dinner at their favorite sports restaurant.  It is all about appreciation.

We often forget about the “other” people in our lives that are always there for us when we need.  This is the time to acknowledge what they do and the support they provide.

It is intended to be a fun, and happy day, but is also more necessary than most realize.  The number one complaint men have in long-term relationships is the “lack of feeing appreciated”. 

National Guy’s Valentine’s Day will provide positive reinforcement by letting our favorite men know, that not only do we appreciate them, but we need them and enjoy the contributions they make to our lives.  That is what a holiday of appreciation is supposed to be.

National Guy’s Valentine’s Day is sponsored by LoveWorks® and takes place on March 14 of each year.