Why I Will Always Love Valentine’s Day

 

I have always loved Valentine’s Day. When I was a kid, I would wake up every year to a bag of red and pink candies my mom would put outside my bedroom door. As a hopeless romantic from an early age, I could never complain about a day devoted to celebrating love. As I got older, my love for Valentine’s Day stuck while the people around me seemed to become more skeptical.

 

A complaint I often hear is that Valentine’s Day is too commercial, that it was only invented by companies to make money, but it’s actually a lot more than that. The exact history is unknown, but it can be traced all the way back to Ancient Greece. In an effort to Christianize a previously Pagan holiday, it was declared St. Valentine’s Day by the Pope in the fifth century. While there are a lot of different St. Valentine’s it could have been named after, one of them was a Roman priest who married young couples in secret after marriage had been banned. He was imprisoned, where he fell in love with his jailors daughter. His last note to her before being put to death on February 14th was signed, ‘from your Valentine.’  

 

 

And that is the holiday that now brings in almost 14 billion dollars annually. Like most holidays, it has been commercialized, but that doesn’t mean you have to treat it that way. You only have to spend a lot of money on chocolates and a fancy dinner if you and your significant other(s) decide that’s how you want to celebrate. For as long as I can remember, my happily married parents of almost 30 years have never bought each other big gifts. This Valentine’s Day, they went for a walk to the library and picked out books for each other to read. An easy way to avoid the pressures of Valentine’s Day is to talk with your significant other beforehand, and decide how your want to handle the day.

 

Every year, my significant other and I decide to spend money doing an activity together, instead of gifts, like going to the aquarium or a museum. Valentine’s Day gives us an excuse to take some time for each other, and spend a little extra money doing something fun that we wouldn’t normally do.

 

 

I’ve always felt love on Valentine’s Day. I’ve spent the past five with my SO, and before that I lived at home with my big family, where we always did something special. I understand that it would be a difficult day for people who haven’t been able to feel the same way. But I really do think it can be a great opportunity to take the day to love yourself. Let it remind you of your choices, and take the time to reflect on your decisions. If you like being single, run yourself a bath, eat a bunch of chocolates, and appreciate your independence. If you don’t, try and let it inspire you to try new things and maybe put yourself out there a bit more.

 

No, people shouldn’t need a specific day to tell others they love them; but why not have one? You’re still allowed to love yourself and the people around you unconditionally, everyday of the year, and still celebrate Valentine’s Day. So, buy yourself some conversation hearts and open up a bottle of wine, and you can share it with whoever you’d like.

 

Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love- be that your significant other, family, friends, or yourself. If you’re still feeling a little skeptical, you can at least enjoy the cheap candy that comes the day after. Or if even that won't help, you can check out HC at SFU's article "Why Valentine's Day is Really Just Another Day."