Ditch commercialized gifts this Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2020 — by Sofia Jones and Sandhya Sundaram

Although Valentine’s Day receives scrutiny for being a shallow holiday, this should not invalidate the sweet intent. 

Valentine’s Day is the one day of the year that’s supposed to be filled with nothing but love and appreciation for one’s significant other. However, over time, the holiday has gotten a poor reputation for being over-commercialized to the point of losing all original meaning.

People scramble to buy flowers, chocolate or something equally superficial because they feel obligated to prove their love, but these actions lack genuine affection. Hallmark caters to consumerism, creating this idea that Valentine’s Day is about buying presents and overpriced cards. This turns the holiday into a chore and defeats its purpose of being a wholesome celebration of love.

Regardless of how materialistic Valentine’s Day feels, one shouldn’t feel like it’s impossible or unusual to do something thoughtful. People need to change their mindset and realize that Feb. 14 is an opportunity, not an obligation. 

Valentine’s Day isn’t something to groan and complain about while defaulting to uncreative gifts. Rather, it is an opportunity to try something new. It is the one day to embrace being insanely cheesy. This doesn’t have to mean dropping money on a gift and moving on.

People should view Valentine’s Day as a time to think outside the box to express their love or appreciation. A fun and meaningful experience will create a memory that lasts far longer than an unnecessarily-expensive box of chocolates. From going on a day trip to just watching a movie on a roof while the sun sets, there are infinite possibilities for having fun. Even for those who don’t have a lot of money or time, Valentine’s Day should at least bring out a heartfelt card. 

We need to ditch the surface-level shows of affection, and in doing so, Valentine’s Day will become much more appealing and meaningful. The mindset must shift, from being a chore to being a memorable occasion. Only by doing this will we be able to go back to celebrating Valentine’s Day for the love and emotions it’s truly meant to represent.

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