An argument in favour of Valentine’s Day is something I never thought I’d write. I have previously spent years gone by hating on the hallmark holiday. But now, finding myself in the precarious position of being in a long-term relationship, the targeted ads, the pressure surrounding the card the presents etc. is beginning to rear its head and, it’s left me to ponder the whole point of Valentines in the first place. The following is the conclusion I’ve come to – to embrace the holiday by turning it on its head.
A long story short, St Valentine earned his honorary holiday having been imprisoned for wedding soldiers to their lovers, while in prison he ‘cured’ his jailer’s daughter of her blindness, the two fell in love and before his execution he left her a letter, signed ‘Your Valentine’. Not necessarily the average love story you’d find in your favourite rom-com. Fast forward a couple of hundred years, the holiday started popping up in English literature, garnering popularity with the tradition of hand-written notes to loved ones, the holiday made its way from the UK to the US where the mass production of cards and gift giving took hold – leading the way for the hallmark holiday we know and love today. Many have come forward to criticize the overly corporate nature of Valentine’s Day, that it’s all about the expensive presents, cards and chocolates, that it isn’t about love but about how big your wallet/purse/bank balance is.
Although that is partly true, in my opinion it is only the case if that’s how you decide you want to measure how you celebrate those you love. In my opinion instead of getting bogged down about the day, embrace it! Use it as an excuse to appreciate those you’re closest to – your friends, your partner(s), even you! This doesn’t mean breaking the bank, you can’t measure a relationship by the amount of money spent on it, instead it should be about the time and thought invested in it. Arrange to hang out with that friend you keep meaning to get coffee with, plan a wholesome movie night for you and your pals, get crafting and make your own gift for your significant other, make yourself your favourite dinner. Make a romantic new year’s resolution to take time to appreciate those wonderful relationships in your life more often and let February 14th be the starting point for it.
The world right now is gloomy enough as it is, why not take advantage of a day dedicated to positivity and love and embrace it by making it your own?