Article by: Kaylee Robertson
Photo by: https://unsplash.com/photos/sxI9ncbRSwU
It’s February 14th. You walk into a store, as you normally would. What’s not so normal, are the aisles filled with bags of candy, stuffed animals, hearts, roses, and everything in between from top to bottom. The price tags and deals on every sign with pictures of cupid and happy couples. The frantic people looking for what to buy that special person… Of course! Buying the best gift for the person you love is what Valentine’s day is all about, right?
Well, you may completely disagree with the idea that Valentine’s day is about money. Perhaps you agree with Sophomore John Stokes who says “Valentine’s Day is the one day that people can feel comfortable openly showing their love and gratitude towards one another.” Another student, Reagan Anderson, similarly says “To me, it’s a day to celebrate what you have with the person you love the most. Whether that be with a friend, a significant other, or a family member. It should be a day for all kinds of love- not just romantic love.”
Whether or not there’s a true meaning to Valentine’s Day, it’s clear that over the years it’s grown into quite the commercially focused holiday. From candy to cards to a huge bouquet, most people end up spending money in some way for their loved ones. In fact, according to The Balance, in 2020 an estimated $27.4 billion will be added to the economy from the holiday shoppers alone. To see that on a smaller scale, the average amount of money spent by each person is around $196.31, not including gifts for big groups of people like classroom goody bags. The population however that will be spending money during this time, is a little more than half. That portion is primarily made up of younger people. Interestingly enough, even though the older population is constantly rising, it is common that older people quit celebrating the holiday altogether.
Should the love-filled, heart covered holiday be so commercialized? According to sophomore Caleb McDaniel, it shouldn’t be. “Valentine’s Day is a symbol of kindness as a whole. It’s supposed to honor St. Valentine but was warped due to capitalistic group ideas. I think Valentine’s Day should be celebrated, but I don’t think that it should be the one day you buy a loved one a box of chocolates; If you love someone you should show it every day.” He is most certainly not the only one that feels that way either. According to Forbes “In an ideal world, it would be completely unnecessary because all couples would be grateful for the love they share and tell the ones they love they appreciate them regularly. But there are 364 other days in the year you can appreciate them, Valentine’s Day is just another day, and you have no obligation to celebrate it whatsoever.”
At the end of the day, it’s commonly believed that Valentine’s Day is meant to be spent with the people you love, whether there’s money involved or not. So regardless of the opinions and the “true meaning” of the holiday, take the time to tell the people around you that you love them on that special day. Don’t forget though, that there are 365 days in a year, and every one of those days can be shared with that person. Make the most of every second with them, because every one of them counts.