Christmas. Memorial Day. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Independence Day. All these holidays celebrate achievements or honorable people who accomplished something. Christmas is the birth of the Christian savior, Jesus; Memorial Day celebrates all the lives of those who died in America’s armed forces; Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrates the life of a nonviolent activist in the civil rights movement; Independence Day celebrates when we declared our country’s independence. But, what does Valentine’s Day celebrate? Love? People need to love themselves before loving another. We should have Love Yourself Day, rather than Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day is in honor of Saint Valentine’s feast day, and there are a mix stories of performing marriages, falling in love, or even making the first “valentines” by Saint Valentine or Valentinus. It was not associated with love until the Middle Ages, when it was the beginning of the birds’ mating season and somehow decided that Valentine’s day would be dedicated to romance. However, if this is a Saint’s day, why don’t we just celebrate it on All Saints Day? The Roman Catholic Church actually took this holiday off the holiday calendar because it was never supposed to turn into a holiday dedicated to buying your boyfriend a teddy bear.
Valentine’s Day is just another way for Hallmark to find careless husbands rummaging to find a sappy card at the last minute. According to the Hallmark’s Corporate Statistics, 142 million Hallmark cards are exchanged, which makes it the second-largest holiday for giving greeting cards. According to the National Retail Foundation in 2013 the average person spent a whopping $130 on Valentine’s Day, and the average annual spending on Valentine’s Day is $13.9 billion. What happens if money isn’t spent on Valentine’s Day? Well, in a Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, 53% of women admit they would end their relationship if they didn’t receive anything on Valentine’s Day. This one day can break a relationship!
We never recognize those who haven’t found love yet. This leads people feeling incredibly lonely on this holiday. Fourteen percent of women send themselves roses on Valentine’s Day because they know that no one else will. The director of Suicide Prevention Service of the Central Coast, Diane Brice, reported, “Valentine’s Day marks the beginning of a period with the highest rate of suicide.” So, why do we encourage this destructive holiday?
Many people struggle with depression and have not learned to love themselves. Depression is known to be most popular when changing seasons. February 14th is near the start of spring; therefore, we need a reminder to love ourselves before this seasonal depression. Love Yourself Day would bring us a happy moment to lead us into the new season, while Valentine’s day sets people up for disappointment and heartaches and loneliness.
Although we celebrate the remarkableness of love, we celebrate it all wrong. We have commercialized this day by making it about buying and buying and buying. Is that really what love is? Love is something that is unconditional. We shouldn’t base relationships on whether or not we can buy each other. Easton resident, Michelle Falcone, happily married for twenty-five years, says, “I don’t like the way people need a reason to celebrate. Everyday they should honor their significant other.” We should love each other every day, but we can’t forget to love ourselves first.
There are holidays for our mothers, fathers, religious leaders, and political leaders, but we have yet to create a holiday for ourselves. Although there is no one to change holidays, we should stop celebrating Valentine’s Day in recognition of someone else. Valentine’s Day should be recognizing ourselves as our primary Valentine.
Falcone, M. (2014, February l7). Personal interview.
“History of Valentine’s Day.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, 17 Oct. 2014. Web. 23 Oct. 2014.
Molland, Judy. “Suicide Hotline Calls Soar On Valentine’s Day.” Care2. 12 Feb. 2013. Web. 16 Oct. 2014.
“Valentine’s Day.” Hallmark Corporation Information. Hallmark Cards, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 17 Oct. 2014.
“Valentine’s Day Statistics.” 14 Feb. 2014. Web. 17 Oct. 2014.