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The hallmark holiday of the year

Does Valentine's Day revolve around materialism?

Marin Nielsen, Design editor and staff reporter

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Valentine’s Day over the years has become increasingly scrutinized for being over commercialized and a “hallmark” holiday. Stores fill with hues of scarlet and magenta, but does February 14 truly have to be a big production? Especially this year, it’s been shown that many couples are opting out of tacky knick-knacks and deciding to spend the holiday showing their commitment and love for one another. In fact, the number one googled Valentine’s Day present of 2017 was promise and engagement rings*, leaning away from stereotypical, cheesy gifts. Moreover, this trend proved to be true among students in relationships here at LSHS as well.
“When I hear Valentine’s Day, I think people getting roses and teddy bears and stuff like that. It’s not about giving necessarily, it’s more about your relationship and appreciating what you have,” senior Joy Pahls said. Though Pahls admits the holiday is not exactly her favorite, she says spending time with your significant other to be a great use of the special day. However, senior Joshua Allinson takes the stance that maybe this day isn’t too extremely special in the first place.
“You should be appreciating and remembering your relationship all the time, not just one day,” Allinson stated. “There’s more meaning to it when you realize what it’s about. Having a girlfriend, I get it, it’s a big deal, ya know, love.” Being in love is much greater than buying gifts, even Valentine’s Day does not require that stigma of materialism.
Even though she is not currently in a romantic relationship, junior Hannah Harris agrees with these claims.
“There’s a stigma that you should [perform a romantic gesture] and you’re expected to have something romantic happen on Valentines Day, but I don’t think it should be the expected norm,” Harris said.
Due to society’s outlook on the holiday, many even feel excluded from the holiday if they are not partaking in stereotypical Valentine’s Day events with a love interest. Harris went on to note that “[w]hen we were kids we used to do Valentine’s Day boxes and everyone got a valentine, everyone was included, and I think it’s become a lot more exclusive and almost singles certain kids out.”
With this statement, Harris makes a really great point of how the holiday has evolved as we have grown from kids to teenagers. Senior Joy Pahls made a very similar statement, noting how exclusive the holiday has become to only being about showing love for a boyfriend or girlfriend rather than an all around day of caring about your peers and loved ones.
Throughout history, “St. Valentine’s Day” has truly developed to be a materialistic and exclusive to couples opposed to the celebration of the life of St. Valentine, who was executed on February 14, 273 AD for performing secret marriages within the Holy Roman Empire while the ability to get married was outlawed. Though the holiday originally did celebrate relationships, society has morphed the holiday to being flooded with fluorescent colors and excludes the population of individuals without a significant other.

*statistic from marketingprofs.com

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The hallmark holiday of the year