From what I’ve been seeing throughout these months leading up to Valentine’s Day, people everywhere have been anything BUT, well, loving. For instance, my high school newspaper, which I have been writing for for the past three years, is writing a cynical column about how ridiculous it is for people to make such a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. On The Neopian Times (Neopets online newspaper), there are articles about what gifts to give your “Un-Valentine” to show that you don’t care. All over Facebook, friends have been saying things like “Happy Valentine’s Day? Gag me with a spoon please” and “This just might be the stupidest holiday ever created.” The first thing that pops up when I google “Valentine’s Merchandise” is a a link to Cafepress: Anti Valentines Gifts, T-shirts, Stickers and more – CafePress.
Seriously, people, where is the love?
It has been disappointing to watch a holiday with such a wonderful meaning to have become a day that everybody loves to hate instead. Singles are moaning and groaning left and right about how useless Valentine’s Day is because they don’t have sweethearts to spend the day cuddling with. Other cynics have pointed out that Valentine’s Day has become nothing but a tool for companies to advertise their products and increase consumer buying.
Valentine’s Day is no more of a consumerism tool than other holidays are. Nobody gags over Chocolate easter bunnies, plastic egg containers, or the Marshmallow Peep sugar chicks.
Around the holiday season, nobody complains about the tacky red-and-green striped candy canes filled with Hershey kisses or the enormous sparkly ball-shaped ornaments that are too big to look good on a Christmas tree. But as Valentine’s Day approaches, many are only too eager to turn up their noses at the colorful candy hearts and large, smiling Care-Bear plushies that say: I *HEART* YOU!!
Who can blame companies and factories for trying to take advantage of the most popular and well-known holidays? They are just doing their job…trying to attract as many consumers as possible to buy their products so that their brand names can stay popular and so they can get money. Isn’t that we are all trying to do in life? Maintain our finances, work for money, and save our dough up so we can have relatively decent retirements and overall a happy life?
Valentine’s Day is a holiday that celebrates love. The meaning of love, the joy of love. However, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be just about romantic love. Sure, the major base upon which Valentine’s Day was founded upon was St. Valentine and the letter he wrote to the girl he loved and signed it “From, Your Valentine.” But in general, love is just that. Love.
Love-a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend; a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person; affectionate concern for the well-being of others. Source: Dictionary.com.
Just because you don’t have a sweetie does not mean you have to spend Valentine’s Day watching sappy romance movies or surfing on dating websites desperately looking for another single. Why does Valentine’s also have to be Single Awareness Day? You are surrounded by so many other people you love; at least, I am hoping you love your parents and siblings, right? Why not buy your brother a bouquet of flowers with a card that says, “Happy Valentine’s Day! Love you, Bro”?
Or simply make Valentine’s cards (yes, just like those tacky homemade lacy ones you created and were required to hand out to all the other third-graders and even the class intern) and send them to everyone you care about. Perhaps you’d like to go out on a date with your other single friend(s); go bowling, eat dinner, have a sleepover. Valentine’s doesn’t HAVE to be all about consumer-buying and spending ridiculous amounts of money on gifts; in fact, the best Valentine’s Day that I spent was hanging out with the people I love most. We still bought gifts just because we wanted to, but the most fun was where we made new inside jokes and bonded together.
Valentine’s Day isn’t just about having a significant other to hold hands with, cuddle up on the couch eating expensive chocolates together, and say “I love you” to. It’s a day of showing everyone you care about that you care. It’s the perfect time for you to tell your best friend just how much you appreciate her laughing with you at your bitch of a boss and making 1000 cranes as a part of your wedding decor. It’s about buying flowers for your mom and tacky golfing equipment for your dad and a long letter thanking them for all those lectures on how to be a good person (they really came to be of use in the end!) and goodnight stories they read to you as a kid. It’s about taking the time to pat yourself on the back and say, Good for you for making it this far in life…you haven’t died yet! :P
A Facebook friend of mine, one of the few who truly appreciate Valentine’s Day, summed it up perfectly in her recent status:
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!