For Love or Money:
The Commercialization of Valentine's Day
By Arti, age 19, Ontario
"I love you."
It could mean so much: an exchange of mutual thinking between couples, a heartwarming hug from a mother to her son, or even the excitement of watching one's favourite sitcom on a Friday night with a bottle of vodka. But one day, just one day, these three words explode into something different. Not only does one love someone, but there is the sudden urge to show it.
It's February 14th, Valentine's Day, the one day when couples strive to prove to their loved ones that yes, they really do love them.
Historically the foundation of this holiday seems pretty straightforward. The holiday was named after a Roman priest named Valentine (go figure) who secretly (because of Roman laws not to be married) set up couples. In the West, Cupid has been replaced as a symbolic feature of the holiday today, and hundreds of dollars are spent yearly to follow in Valentine's footsteps. Right?
At a time of economic recession for both the United States and Canada, spending money might be the last thought on some people's minds. But even today, weeks away from the big day, retailers have stacked their shelves with chocolates, and decked out aisles with red Valentine's Day cards and countless teddy bears watching your every move - and wallet. Retailers tell us to spend, and show us exactly what we need to make our love the greatest. Make it the most memorable and make sure we have the best bragging rights.
I was also a fan of V-day growing up. I liked receiving cards from the kids in my class, especially the boys. I remember telling my mom, making her buy the best Valentine's Day cards because I wanted to be remembered. I loved the heart shaped chocolates, and liked listening to people's stories and holiday cartoons.
I don't know when I became the Grinch of Valentine's Day. I am all for love, but why limit yourself to one day? Every day should be Valentine's Day. After all, our only objective is to show someone how special they really are.
Just think about it. We buy tons of chocolate throughout the year, say "I love you" a bunch of times, and give gifts and flowers randomly any time of the year, and yet February 14th seems the most important. I say drop traditions, don't spend money that you don't need to or don't have, and finally, appreciate the love you have, not the love you can buy.
Happy "I am just saying I love you more today" Day