PAIGE LISTON | OPINION COLUMNIST
Dinner reservations at romantic restaurants. Extravagant flower arrangements. Advance tickets for “Fifty Shades of Grey,” if one wants a very interesting date night.
All of this and more will take place this weekend in order to celebrate the upcoming holiday of love, Valentine’s Day.
The celebration has a long history, and current traditions existed for centuries. Written Valentine’s Day greeting cards were exchanged as far back as the year 1400, according to an article on history.com.
Around 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year, making Valentine’s Day the second most popular card-sending holiday, according to a CNN article.
The average person will spend a little more than $130 for the holiday, and the national total will be around $18.6 billion, the article said.
Looking at those statistics, I understand why some people view the holiday of love in a negative light, Sophomore Grace Hyde says she does not like Valentine’s Day..
“It is not a real holiday,” Hyde said. “It is a Hallmark holiday in order to make money. You should be showing your love for your significant other every day of the year, not just one.”
With the extreme amounts of money being spent, it would appear that the holiday’s sole purpose is for lovesick couples to shower each other with expensive gifts, but that should not be the main focus of Valentine’s Day.
There are many ways to show your love for someone. If you feel you have to express that love in the form of money every time Feb. 14 rolls around, then you might want to rethink the relationship.
Sophomore Danielle Ruppal understands why people may view Valentine’s Day as purely a “Hallmark holiday,” but she said she thinks the holiday should represent much more than that.
“I don’t see any harm in having a day to celebrate the person you love,” Ruppal said. “No matter if you are single or if you are dating someone, the holiday can celebrate anyone you love in your life.”
I agree with Ruppal in the sense that the holiday can be meant to show your love for anyone that is special in your life, whether that be your boyfriend or your girlfriend, your family, or your best friend.
Still, I think people place too much significance on this one specific day. It is nice to recognize Valentine’s Day with the people you love, but I think it is outlandish to expect great amounts of money to be spent in your honor simply because it is Feb. 14.
That is not necessary. There are different ways to show your love for someone other than spending extravagant amounts of money. Often, simple acts of love are the ones that mean the most.
It is a shame that pressure and expectations are attached to a holiday that is supposed to celebrate one of the most pure and perfect things.
Sophomore Cord Collier thinks the holiday should be viewed simply as a day that gives people the chance to do something fun with someone else that you would not normally do otherwise.
Valentine’s Day provides people with the opportunity to spend time with those that mean the most to them. I have a problem with Valentine’s Day when it turns into a consumer-driven holiday in which people feel forced to shower their significant other with expensive gifts.
You should show your love for important people in your life every single day of the year through simple acts, and Feb. 14 should be no exception.