Valentine’s Day is a holiday devoted to representing and being grateful for partnership; a holiday filled with pink hearts, chocolate in cute packaging, and crimson red roses.
Doesn’t sound appealing to you? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.
The origins of the holiday are engulfed in mystery, as we have no distinct proof when or how it came about. However, we do know February has always been seen as a “romantic” month, for whatever reason. Many believe that Valentine’s Day honors St. Valentine’s death, a Catholic Saint who served during the third century of Rome. The holiday also conforms to Pagan roots.
Whatever the origin, we have completely strayed from Valentine’s Day’s “purpose”: to show love. According to society, love is now packaged and sold. According to the National Retail Federation, or NRF, Americans alone spent over $18.2 billion on gifts for the holiday, averaging out to about $136.57 per person.
Is this the message we want to carry on as a society? It sends a message that if you don’t receive a gift, or give one to your significant other, you don’t care enough, or you’re lonely. The meaning of Valentine’s Day has been corrupted by corporations, looking to make a quick buck off of an intangible feeling.
You can just as easily recreate the same feeling of receiving an expensive gift, without spending the money. This year, my partner and I tried something new. We agreed to not spend any money on each other’s gifts, and rather handmake them. The results we both got from it were amazing. We both still got the feeling of being apart of the holiday; however, now both have objects that have more meaning to us since we made them.
I highly encourage us, as a society, to stray from spending abundant money on Valentine’s Day. Instead, try to think of something creative for next year. Try a simple walk in the park or painting a picture for them. I guarantee it makes you appreciate the holiday for what it is much more efficiently!