While Valentine’s Day is undoubtedly commercialized, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate it. Valentine’s Day is a reminder that we should take time out of our busy lives and appreciate the people we love. Whether we’re buying a premade box of chocolates or spending weeks planning the perfect event for our loved ones, Valentine’s Day is worth celebrating.
The modern (and commercialized) concept of Valentine’s Day came about in the late 18th century when British publishers began to release short, pamphlet-type books containing poetic verses of love and romance accompanied by sketches, according to victoriana.com. These booklets were marketed towards men unable to come up with their own romantic sentiments and thus popularized the typical Valentine’s Day paper cards that we see today. Naturally, boxes of candy, flowers and all other sorts of Valentine’s memorabilia followed.
While marketing makes it seem like the norm to buy into all of the red and pink heart-shaped merchandise we see around this time of year, it’s possible to celebrate the holiday without spending hundreds of dollars on 10-foot teddy bears. You could show gratitude for your loved one by making a homemade gift, cooking dinner, or doing chores. You could also simply tell your significant other how much you love them. Sometimes the simplest (and cheapest) actions speak the loudest.
If you’re single, being bombarded by Valentine’s Day merchandise at the supermarket might feel like a kick in the gut. The good news is that recently, people have begun to embrace nontraditional forms of the holiday (a la “Galentine’s Day” from “Parks and Recreation”). So if you’re not celebrating the day with a significant other, spend it with your friends, family or even just by yourself.
Valentine’s Day gets a lot of flack for being commercialized but the unfortunate reality is that most mainstream holidays are profit-oriented and have been for years. Coca-Cola helped shape the modern image of Santa Claus through vigorous advertising campaigns in the 1930s, according to coca-cola.com. Cinco De Mayo, Mardi Gras and Saint Patrick’s Day are widely celebrated because of the parties associated with these holidays, not because of their historical significance. So while Valentine’s Day is commercialized, celebrating it is no different than any other holiday.
It’s your choice whether you want to buy your loved one an overpriced bouquet of flowers or if you simply want to spend a night in with them. Whatever the case, Valentine’s Day is an annual reminder that we should take time to appreciate the people we care about. Love is always worth celebrating.