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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Valentine’s Day created purely for commercialization

At this time of year, many stores across the nation suddenly transform into venues filled with pink and red roses, heart-shaped chocolates, greeting cards and decorations for the upcoming Valentine’s Day.
According to the National Retail Foundation, the average American spent nearly $130 last year celebrating Valentine’s Day, making it almost a $16 billion industry. On top of this, approximately 142 million Valentine’s Day cards were exchanged, making Valentine’s Day the holiday that gives the second largest number of greeting cards, after Christmas.
Unfortunately, much of the money spent on this minor holiday is not really worth it.
Looking back into the origins of Valentine’s Day, it is surprising that it came to become a well-known holiday. The name is said to be derived from that of a priest who was imprisoned for administering forbidden marriages in ancient Rome, but no historical sources confirm links between the priest and romantic love. The idea only came around in one of English poet Geoffrey Chaucer’s poems where he briefly mentioned “Saint Valentine’s Day”.
Considering this background information, it is hard to understand why people spend so much money each year on such an unimportant day. Valentine’s Day is not an official federal holiday that commemorates a historically or traditionally significant event; it was made up simply for commercialization purposes — to extract money from people’s wallets.
Valentine’s Day causes unnecessary stress, too — it creates high expectations for gifts and celebrations and sets the scene for heartbreak and disappointment. According to a survey by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, 53 percent of women would end their relationship if they did not receive something on Valentine’s Day. This obviously shows the illegitimacy of love that Valentine’s Day has created — these women are giving more importance to material goods than to the actual love in their relationships.
All the commercialization of Valentine’s Day pressures people into buying pricey materials that probably will not make much of a difference in the each of the couple’s lives after the day is over. 
I am not trying to say that couples should not show affection toward each other, but buying a flimsy greeting card, some jewelry or a box of chocolates does not prove true love. Material items are not equal to genuine love. The money spent on a bunch of overpriced roses could have been spent on something more useful and unique. In fact, two people who genuinely care about each other should be showing their devotion on a daily basis rather than proving that they care on a single occasion.
All the unnaturalness and expectation from Valentine’s Day is caused by the portrayal of what a “truly romantic” relationship is in popular magazines and advertisements. These include buying lavish gifts, watching a romantic movie together and having dinner at a fancy restaurant.
Valentine’s Day has transformed itself into such a massive “holiday” that it is causing society to forget about the true point of a relationship. Just because someone does not buy flowers and other presents for his or her partner on Valentine’s Day does not mean that he or she does not love anymore.
In fact, the value of Valentine’s Day lessens as a relationship lengthens. People get tired of the same supply of roses and chocolates each year, and these repetitive and predictable activities strain the meaning of a relationship. Doing the same thing that everyone else does on Valentine’s Day does not prove that they are special to you and instead demonstrates the opposite.
Companies across the nation have tricked us into spending so much of our precious time and money on an unofficial, obscure holiday that sends the wrong messages about true love.
In the end, only true lovers won’t be tricked by Valentine’s Day.
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