What Valentine’s Day is really about

Early Valentines Day card from the Victorian Era

Early Valentine’s Day card from the Victorian Era

Throughout our lives we’ve seen in movies and shows, husbands sending their wives 100 roses to their office with a note that says, “Happy Valentine’s, be ready for dinner at 7”.

As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, we are all wondering what we may be getting from or for our significant other. Many of us have high expectations, but is that what Valentine’s Day is really about? 

As young adults, we have to remember that sometimes we don’t have the funds to go all out for Valentine’s Day. This gives us the opportunity to make this holiday an event that is more intimate and meaningful. Sometimes simple and smaller gifts can have a much bigger meaning. 

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate the love we have for the people in our lives. Often we show this appreciation through material things. Although those gifts are nice, receiving something as simple as a love letter can hold so much more meaning, and is more impactful. 

In the present day, Valentine’s Day appears to be a day filled with love, laughter, and appreciation. However, the origins of it were not very similar. Valentine’s Day was named after the patron Saint Valentine. He was a third-century Roman priest. Emperor Claudius II decreed that single men made better soldiers than married men with wives and children. He believed that men should steer away from getting married. While Claudius’s actions were discouraging to many, Saint Valentine continued to perform marriages for young couples in secret. He was eventually caught and beheaded for defying the emperor.

Valentine’s Day became a day that was special to many people because it’s a day you can show how important and wonderful it is to be in love with someone. Despite the history of this celebration, Valentine’s Day is now a day to be proud of being married or in love with someone.

Valentine’s Day has become a big event. Hallmark began producing cards in the 1910’s and became one of the most popular companies producing Valentine’s Day items and decorations. Valentine’s Day became the perfect holiday to commercialize America. Businesses saw it as a holiday to advertise and create new ways to make money. Many companies and brands began to market towards Valentine’s Day making consumers want to buy their products. According to Forbes, last year Americans spent 23.9 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day expenses.

How does this affect us? This affects us because we begin to think about the material value of relationships rather than the intimate and genuine meaning of things. Considering the state of the economy, we shouldn’t be spending 23.9 million dollars on a holiday; instead, it should be put towards our financial future. People should be smarter with their spending decisions.

America has normalized turning anything into a way to make people spend more money. We have lost touch with the true meaning of so many different things and holidays. It’s always important to teach yourself the history and meaning of things, because everything has a much bigger meaning than we think.