Let the Numbers Speak
People who dismiss Cupid's shining moment as a "Hallmark holiday" aren't all that far off - 180 million gift cards are exchanged on average each year, and that's not even counting kiddie classroom exchanges at schools across the country. But the tradition actually predates the ­greeting-card company by hundreds of years. Here's a load of other fun statistics to get you geared up for wooing come ­February 14.

$13.7 billion
Estimated Valentine's Day spending in 2006

189 million
Number of roses produced for Valentine's Day in 2006

28%
Of Americans dine out on Valentine's Day, spending an average of $62 on their filets mignons and shrimp scampi

$2.6 billion
Amount spent on jewelry in the month of February in 2006

More than 36 million
Heart-shaped boxes of chocolate were sold for Valentine's Day 2006

About 8 billion
Hearts will be produced this year, which is enough candy to stretch from Rome, Italy, to Valentine, Arizona, and back again 20 times - Now that's love

133,000
Number of U.S. marriages ­performed in February 2006, according to National Center for Health Statistics

269
Number of marriage ceremonies that took place at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day 2006