Valentine’s Day! In Japan!

Japan celebrates Valentine’s Day! I think Meiji and Ghana chocolate companies caught on that this would be a fantastic way to sell a TON of chocolate! And they’re right, it is! They decided to promote this day to the women, which was even smarter, cause women get into these things, and to keep it all organized, decreed that Valentine’s Day was when women would give men a gift (basically…chocolate).

Then of course there is the Obligation Gift, otherwise known as GiriChoco, office workers give every single guy in the office some small gift, girl students bring all the boys in class something special, this is a BIG production.

But…girls got smart! They also realized that ‘Hey…I can BAKE! And baking cookies for 15 guys is so much cheaper than buying each one a box of chocolate!!’ So, girls bake up brownies, chocolate cookies, homemade truffles, chocolate cupcakes, whatever, as long as it has chocolate, wrap them up in cute little heart bags (pack of 15 at the 100-yen shop!), wrap a ribbon and there you go, gifts for the guys!

And the poor guys have been totally suckered into a very expensive day, for them, because in precisely one month, the chocolate companies decided to re-invent their success, and declared it White Day! Just so the girls get something back for all their hard work! But, problem is, poor guys, most of them don’t bake, or have a clue where to start, so they end up purchasing their Obligation Gifts for all the women in the office who gave them some cookies a month earlier. And since they have to buy the gifts, they end up spending maybe 10x as much as the women do.

So, true story:
My daughter melted down 3 chocolate bars, added some cream, poured the chocolate into little tins, sprinkled on some cute topping, wrapped 2 up in saran wrap, added a ribbon, passed them out to all the boys in her class. Total cost? Under $10.

A month later she comes home with a huge bag full of gifts from each of the little boys she had given chocolate to…90% of it purchased: cookies, candy, handkerchiefs, who knows what else, and some homemade stuff where the boys got their moms to help them bake. Boy did she luck out!!

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