Spend More Time, Less Money on Valentine’s Day

Kate Morey , Opinion Managing Editor

Ah Valentine’s Day, one of America’s most widely celebrated holidays. The one day of the year that love is in the air. Hearts, flowers, big teddy bears and chocolate boxes fill stores and restaurants, and couples are the center of the universe.

Valentine’s Day is an adorable holiday intended to celebrate romance and love. However, it should not qualify as a real holiday because we do not celebrate it for the right reasons. Valentine’s day in 2018 revolves around spending money to impress someone, rather than actually loving them.

The ancient Romans may be responsible for the name of our modern day of love. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. Emperor Claudius II executed two men a�� both named Valentine a�� on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D. Their persecution was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s day has become what some would call a “Hallmark holiday”–a commercial holiday, used to generate revenue rather than for traditional reasons, like a religious event, or to commemorate a historically significant event.

According to a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest retail trade association, Americans are expected to spend an average of $143.56 per person on Valentine’s day, totaling $19.6 billion.

The 55 percent of Americans who are celebrating Valentine’s Day are expected to spend a total of $4.7 billion on jewelry, $3.7 billion on an evening out, $2 billion on flowers, $1.9 billion on clothing, $1.5 billion on gift cards and $894 million on greeting cards. More consumers plan on purchasing candy this year, with 55 percent (up from 50 percent) saying they will give gifts of candy for a total of $1.8 billion.

Here at Rockville there are some cute ways people show their love for one another, like rose-grams and music-grams and their profits benefit the school. When students want to spend money on loved ones, they should spend that money in a more thoughtful way by donating proceeds or supporting a cause that helps people. Celebrating Valentine’s day doesn’t have to be about spending money; it is about showing loved ones we care, whether it is with a handwritten card or just a hug.

In the spirit of celebrating the holiday and the people we love, it’s up to us to remember that this holiday is not about companies’ bottom dollar; this holiday is about simply celebrating the love we share with our significant others and making them feel special–not just on Valentine’s day, but throughout the year.