With Valentine's Day coming up, I want to talk about my feelings towards this holiday. Right when the new year comes around stores start filling up with pink and red hearts and candies and bears that say things such as "I love you" or "be mine." Growing up, Valentine's Day was the day you get candy from your classmates. Now, people seem to think of it as the one day of the year when you show your significant other how much you love them by buying them things.
I don't agree with celebrating love on one day of the year. I also think celebrating love should not be limited to romantic love. I think that platonic love, and the love you have for your family should be celebrated just as much as romantic love. If we celebrate the love we have for our friends, family, significant others, etc., every day it becomes a more genuine appreciation for love rather than a forced day filled with consumerism.
The reason I say that Valentines Day is a day filled with consumerism is because the amount of money people spend on Valentines Day Gifts is ridiculous. There is an estimated amount of $18.6 million spent for Valentines day per year. That means that the average person will spend around $130.97. To put this into perspective, last month the Powerball hit an all-time high of $1.5 billion. The estimated amount of money spent on Valentines day per year is over twelve times the amount of money in the Powerball at its highest. It really makes you think. Why do Americans spend this much money for one day of the year?
I can't answer that question for everyone, but I do think many people spend so much money for Valentines Day because they feel obligated to. Valentines Day has become a cultural event where people feel as though they have to spend money to show their love. I wonder how much money people would spend on their significant other if Valentines Day did not exist. That is not to say that people don't want to spend money on their loved ones or that they don't enjoy Valentines Day, plenty of people do. I am also not saying that people should stop acknowledging Valentines Day, I just think that Valentines Day should not be the only day we celebrate love and that it shouldn't be about money or gifts.
To me, love isn't about candy and bears and jewelry. That stuff is nice, but I think that there are better ways to show how much you care about someone than just buying love themed things.
I am going to treat Feb. 14 just as I treat any other day and continue to show the people I love how much I love them every day.