Valentine’s Day: Yes or no?

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno - The Sentry

Just another hallmark holiday

Opinion by Sarai Nissan

Feb. 14 is the day that many dwell over with intense anxiety. The unsurmountable pressure of getting the perfect gift for a loved one for no considerable reason, the fear of them hating it (or faking loving it), and the animosity of putting away a paycheck for this measly day: the resentment is palpable.

Valentine’s Day is a “Hallmark holiday”; it is a corporate holiday perpetuated in an effort to get the masses to consume. A Hallmark holiday is a vernacular term to describe a holiday that is recognized to exist principally for commercial purposes and does not actually venerate anything with meaning: essentially, it is to promote capitalism. This is what Valentine’s Day has become.

This holiday is also not anticipated as highly as it is by some love birds. The other half of the population that is single generally approaches this day with dread or apathy.  Valentine’s Day isn’t a bad holiday, but it is becoming an overbearing part of American culture. It seems almost obligatory, to the point of resentment.

It is absurd to devote a single day to expressing love for another. People should not need an excuse to show their significant others love and appreciation through gifts, cards, flowers, and what have you. Tangible love doesn’t just exist on this single day, it should exist everyday.

According  to the director of Suicide Prevention Service of the central coast Diane Brice, the feelings of obligation to be in a relationship or find “true love” increases and intensifies suicidal thoughts. Brice states that Valentine’s Day marks the start of  an increase in suicide rates. The expectations that this holiday imposes on society are ultimately more harmful than helpful.

Valentine’s Day is no longer a holiday about love; it is about the competition of who gives the better gift. It is about objects, about wealth, and about power.

A day to celebrate love

Opinion by Ashley Kim

The singles of the world have joined together and decided that Valentine’s Day may as well be the culmination of Satan’s life work. Arguably, the annual holiday is just a promotion of the capitalist agenda. (God forbid anyone buy a heart-shaped box of chocolates or two.) But the bottom line is: Valentine’s Day is about love. 

There’s a common misconception that  the card company Hallmark created Valentine’s Day in order to raise sales for cards after the high-spending holiday season.  But this is far from the truth.

Valentine’s Day can be traced back to the 14th century, where in medieval times the holiday was meant to recognize chivalrous duties by knights. The holiday has obviously evolved into much more than that. Valentine’s Day is even recognized as a cultural and religious holiday. Most importantly, however, Valentine’s Day has become a day that celebrates love and romance around the world. But unfortunately, the holiday’s main purpose is widely misunderstood. 

Sure, devoting a single day to expressing love for one another is absurd—that is certainly agreeable. A single day shouldn’t deviate from appreciating loved ones; but, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love that already exists. It also isn’t just for couples. It’s an opportunity to celebrate love for family and friends.

The way someone might spend Valentine’s Day is completely up to them. Sitting around and being angry that people love each other is probably not the best way to celebrate it—or spend any day, really.

It’s impossible to measure exactly how everyone is spending the day. And while love does not need to be confined to being expressed on a single day, it can serve as the catalyst for a long-lasting romance or celebration of love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *