If you are in a relationship and you know February 14 is right around the corner, your mind most likely has been spinning for a while trying to figure out what your Valentine’s Day plans and/or gifts are going to be. Logically, the great dilemma is being able to give the perfect gift and thinking what your significant other is going to give you, so you don’t go too far or too short with your gift. It’s all a meticulous process. It has almost become a solid law that if you are in fact, dating, or in a relationship, or even married to someone that you must celebrate this lovely day and spend money on thoughtful gifts. But do we really have to? If you really want to; sure, why not? But it shouldn’t be something that we have to do.
Haven’t you heard people saying, “Ugh, Valentine’s Day is coming up. I need a boyfriend/girlfriend!”. Well, that is the culture we are accustomed. For a long time, we have considered that the only way to spend this day is with someone we are in love with. But actually, this holiday is about making the people you love around you feel loved (even your friends and family).
The problem is that while this all happens in one day, what happens the other 364 days of the rest of the year? We ought to make people close to us feel special every day of the year, not only one day. This holiday has promoted consumerism, but it has restrained that thoughtful romanticism to one day of the year.
The funny part is that Saint Valentine’s day was not originally the day of love and romance, it actually had a very interesting development into today’s holiday.
The origins of this festivity, according to History, originated ages ago in Ancient Rome where around mid-February a fertility festival was celebrated called Lupercalia, in which Romans would scarify goats or dogs and softly hit women and crops with the goat’s hide. They did this for fertility and purification. It sounds weird if you picture it, but Romans were really into those bloody scenes, as you may know.
As for who Valentine was, there were two theories. The first one said that Valentine was a priest who married young couples in secret after Claudius II prohibited young soldiers to get married; Valentine was discovered and killed. And the second one, which is the one that people like the most, was that Valentine was helping Christians escape from Roman prisons. He was discovered and imprisoned where he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and sent her the first letter signed; “From your valentine.”
Nowadays, this holiday has transformed into such a commercial day people has forgotten its real meaning. According to History, “Americans spend about $20 billion on Valentine’s day,” making it the most commercial holiday after Christmas. Creating a day to celebrate love was something meaningful and beautiful; there is no argument there. But it has lead people to think that Valentine’s day is the only day when you have to be thoughtful, considerate, and romantic with your significant other. Not because this is what they feel, but because is what they are supposed to do. If you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to do so, but remember everyday should be special in a relationship. There is nothing greater than surprising that special someone on a Wednesday night and making them dinner for no reason, or telling them you love them a Sunday morning when you wake up and you both smell.
We don’t have to spend all of our money this upcoming 14 of February; instead, do something as simple as appreciating the people you are surrounded with because that is the best gift you can possibly give someone.