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Near-record Valentine's Day spending expected as holiday nears

The clock is ticking on Valentine's Day gifting as the holiday nears.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A love that lasts takes time.

Michelle and Bill Holman are on 30 years and counting.

"I'm more in love with her now than I was back then," Bill said.

For many couples, the clock is ticking with Valentine's Day just next week, but the Holman's have time on their side.

"We actually met the day after Valentine's on February 15 and so we always celebrate that," Michelle said.

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"We won't buy no candy, no card, no nothing and then the next day is our special day," Bill said.

Whether celebrating the day of or in the days ahead, the right gift will likely cost.

The National Retail Federation expects spending to reach $23.9 billion, the second highest year on record.

On Columbia's Main Street, some restaurants are full or nearing capacity for the holiday weekend, but food isn't the only way to spread love.

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Many will look for custom items, something artists at the Mad Platter, a fired art studio on Millwood Avenue, are hoping for.

"Main thing we do is people will come in pick an item off our tables and our walls and they'll paint it. It's a really popular family activity. It's a really good date," Emily McIntyre, a custom artist, said. "It's something that's very personal from you."

The Holmans say they may enjoy a night out to dinner, remembering the years they've spent together. Their secret to a long-lasting love?

"God in the center and putting each other first," Michelle said.

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