Point Counter-Point: Is Valentine’s Day a money-making scheme or an exciting, celebratory part of our culture?
Everyday is Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is the worst best idea in the history of holidays.
It is the one day out of the entire year that people feel obligated to be romantic and mushy-gushy to their significant other. If one person forgets to get something for their other half, the response is almost as bad as being excommunicated. If a gift was not up to the standards of the person receiving it, then that person will get the cold shoulder for a good day or two. Suffice to say, the holiday has fallen victim to the term “Hallmark holiday,” almost to the level of the dreaded “holiday” Sweetest’s Day.
However, there is a fundamental flaw hiding in the holiday that is clouded by the red, pink and mounds of chocolate hearts: relationships deserve more attention. Americans are always on the run to do every little thing as quick as we can. Little do we know that when we do that, other things in our lives fall by the waist side, including our significant others.
Valentine’s Day gives people a reason to slow down. While some might be cynical towards the holiday (and I admit that I sometimes see it as such), there is a certain worth towards making us take a breath and express our love. Even though the act of buying a Valentine’s Day card is seen as supporting the United States exploiting a holiday for financial gain, the meaning behind the card stands on its own.
What I suggest is simple: to those who are in a relationship that require the acknowledgement of Valentine’s Day, try to make sure that you treat everyday like Valentine’s Day. I think that everyone who has a significant other deserves to treat them in the same loving and caring way every day of the year rather than only on one specific holiday. That will keep both couples happy and the chocolate companies smiling.
All You Need is Love
I am not going to lie. I (sometimes) love Valentine’s Day. I love the little cards exchanged in grade school. I love chocolate. And right now, I’m swooning over the messages on candy hearts and dove wrappers. I know, it sounds sickly but hear me out.
In 2009, despite the economic downturn, USA Today posits that $14.7 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day-related purchases. Nearly 91 percent of people spent the most, an average $67.22, on their significant other, with other family members such as children getting about one-fifth of the budget, $20.95. A few dollars will be spent on: friends, $4.74; children’s classmates and teachers, $3.59; co-workers, $1.94; and pets, $2.17. Yes, pets.
But that’s what’s cool about it. The day isn’t for just celebrating the one person who shares the weirdest inside jokes with you or knowingly gives you ranch for your pizza (with or without a raised eyebrow). It’s a day to show appreciation for your entire support network. To celebrate your relationship with your pet, teacher, classmate and coworkers, family and (yes) significant other. All we need is love, right?
In my mind, it isn’t National Singles Day. With that being said, if you find yourself feeling blue, get over it. There’s nothing more satisfying than throwing on a cocktail dress or new aftershave to hosting a suave little singles party this week. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating being you (and heaven forbid you actually enjoy it).
Anyways, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on how blessed you are with the family and friends you have and show them how awesome they are. It’s for you to give your mom a flower and surprise your roommate with a kind gesture. If you still must gag on all of my heart-shaped-sprinkles, don’t forget what else Valentine’s Day is good for: half price chocolate on February 15.