Should Valentine’s Day be considered a holiday?

Each week, The Beacon’s editorial board will take a stance on a current issue.

Everyone enjoys feeling loved, receiving gifts, and getting attention and affection from those they surround themselves with. These are some of the core elements of Valentine’s Day, but do these elements need to be grouped into one specific day of the year potentially for the wrong reasons?

From as early as elementary school, people are encouraged to buy gifts for all of their classmates on Valentine’s Day. This is how the perception of the significance of Valentine’s Day began for many people. You were told that the more people that that you buy gifts for, the more you will get in return.

This can instill a materialistic mindset in young children that they will always have to buy and receive gifts on Valentine’s Day. Who would not want to receive gifts? The ingrained concept typically continues throughout adulthood as well.

On Valentine’s Day, people typically give their significant other materialistic things like the generalized gifts of teddy bears chocolates and roses,” said Eric Kong, junior at Wilkes University.

In addition to the materialistic mindset being instilled at a young age, these gifts are also scattered throughout every store and do not even require that much thought to go out and pick up. If Valentine’s Day is coming up, people can go to the store, travel through the aisles in less than five minutes and leave with chocolate covered strawberries and roses.

Due to this, Valentine’s Day being considered a holiday has become a stable and quite enormous source of income for many retail companies like Walmart, Hallmark and local flower shops, just to name a few. It was originally commercialized by card and candy companies strategically to sell more products and acquire revenue and people have been buying in to this scheme ever since.

It is just not necessary to spend upwards of fifty dollars on a bouquet of flowers that will die in a week or ten dollars on an extravagant card that will end up in the garbage to show someone that you care about them. Instead you can actually spend quality time with them, compliment them, or help them out in some way.

“It’s definitely overrated. It’s all about buying someone’s love in a way. No one would settle for a stay at home date on Valentine’s Day because they just want their partner to spend money,” said Hannah Simerson, first-year student at Wilkes University.

There are some cultures that celebrate Valentine’s Day in a traditional way where a women cooks a meal and a man buys a piece of jewelry. The couple would enjoy sitting together and sharing history of when they first got together and when they were younger.

“I remember my uncle’s wife would cook him dinner and he got her a necklace or something,” said Ana Iris, first-year Panamanian exchange student at Wilkes University.

Nowadays, it is evident that many are straying away from this and heading more commercialized with gifts and candy. It would be nice to go back to when people could just spend time together at home enjoying a meal or talking about the years that they have been together.

Finally, and arguably most importantly, you can buy your significant other, your family, friends, etc. gifts and tell them that you want them in your life any day of the year.

“If you love someone, you should continuously show them affection throughout your relationship rather that on one specific day,” said Kong.

Essentially, you can say that about any holiday too, especailly when there are gifts involved. However, Valentine’s Day is merely based on love when holidays like Christmas are based on religion and birthdays on the celebration of birth where gifts are a tradition.