Valentine’s Day is far too commercialized

Hannah Brooks, Features Editor

Valentine’s Day – a day that served as a Christian feast day honoring Christian martyr Saint Valentine. More than likely, you did not know this. Truthfully, I had no idea either until I searched “why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day.” However, that’s the origin of the holiday that we now know as a day of love and presents, or what I personally feel has become a commercial nightmare. It isn’t that the day itself is bad. It really is sweet and special when you think about it. A day to gift your loved ones with chocolates, gifts, flowers, fancy dinners and maybe even an engagement ring, if you are at that point in your relationship. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate such a day? It sounds sweet in theory, but my problem with it boils down to the fact that over the years, the grand gestures that happen on this day have changed from simply being kind, to being an expectation.

If you don’t get your partner something, you “don’t care about them.” Even if you do plan something, your standards may not meet your partner’s or others, and your gesture might not be seen as being good enough. So, what is one supposed to do?I feel that social media has certainly caused a good part of these expectations. People highlight all of the good things in their lives, which may include their relationship. The scenario is one that really seems to happen every single day. It starts with somebody posting about the mountain of gifts that their partner got for them. Somebody sees the post and begins to compare the poster’s gifts to the ones that their partner got for them (or did not) and suddenly feelings of jealousy, insecurity, and perhaps even resentment begin to form. Why did they get these gifts and I didn’t? Why didn’t my partner do this? Does this mean that they don’t care about me? The most recent example that I have seen with this is proposals.

Personally, I also feel that love shouldn’t be so focused around gifts and what you can do for somebody. Not only are there other ways to show your partner that you love and appreciate them, there are also many other days – 364, to be exact – in which you could show your partner that you care. It can be as simple as buying their favorite candy bar, or even picking them a pretty flower outside that you knew they would like. Instead of focusing so much on one day of the year, we should be focusing on these traditions every day, and showing our partners that we care without having to stress ourselves into debt over it.

I feel that the day itself has certainly changed far from where it began, and though it isn’t a bad thing all by itself, it is simply a day that is a little bit too overdone for me. Rather than focusing so heavily on exquisite gifts with monetary value to show love to our partners, we need to find ways to show our love, period – and do it every single day, not just one day of the year.