Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that you either love or hate. Most people’s opinion of the day depends on whether or not they have a significant other. Regardless of my relationship status, I have always loved Valentine’s Day.
Part of my love can be traced to my girly nature and my love of the color pink, but more so, I just like to love people. I’ll proudly defend the holiday in a world full of haters. I don’t expect you to just trust my opinion; I have a list of reasons.
1. It’s more than a greeting card holiday.
There were at least three St. Valentines according to the History Channel’s website. One was killed after marrying young lovers even though it was outlawed by Emperor Claudius II. Another was beheaded after helping persecuted Christians escape from the Romans. It is rumored that he may have fallen in love with one of the prisoners, sending her a letter signed “From your Valentine” before he died.
Some of these legends are disputed, but they are quite beautiful stories and traditions at the very least. The first written Valentine dates back to 1415. Greeting card companies may have ran with the idea of Valentine’s Day, but they did not invent it.
2.It’s a reminder.
I think that it’s very important to show others how much you care about them. Yes, you should appreciate the special people in your life all year round. Buying gifts is not necessary for showing love either. Still, isn’t it nice? If you are impressive enough to show people how much you appreciate them everyday, then kudos to you. I wish my memory was that good.
Now don’t limit your loving to only a boyfriend or girlfriend. Drop your parents a kind note just to say you love them. Give your roommate some candy. Take some extra time to hang out with your friends. It is really encouraging sometimes just to hear some nice words.
3. I really love giving people gifts.
Whether it’s a handmade card or a clever gift that memorializes a favorite memory, gifts are fun. If you spend all of your time focusing on a specific gift that you want or the cost of your gift, then Valentine’s is no longer about the love and I don’t enjoy it anymore.
It can be really fun to come up with clever presents or to write nice messages to your friends or significant others if you don’t put too much pressure on yourself or others.
4. Food is good.
Valentine’s Day means good food. First of all, there is an abundance of chocolate and desserts. I know that some of you may be counting calories to try to shape up before summer, but everyone needs a treat. In the middle of a stressful week, a treat can be very calming. Make it dark chocolate, and you’re giving yourself antioxidants. Dark chocolate actually lowers blood pressure—according to WebMD.
At Seton Hill University (SHU), the Valentine’s Day dinner is very possibly the best meal of the year. Who needs to go to a fancy restaurant when you can have crab legs, beef tenderloin, chicken cordon bleu, chocolate chip pancakes or pasta? Every year, Darren Achtzehn and his staff turn out a truly stellar meal complete with fancy table settings, chocolate fountains and more.
6. Spring needs a holiday.
Holidays are pretty evenly spread out for a reason, and it’s because people need something to look forward to. There’s a lull after Christmas and New Years. January can get pretty dull and dreary. In my mind, Valentine’s day means spring is coming. Who wants to wait til St. Patrick’s Day or Easter to celebrate? Not me!
7. Healthy relationships are something worth celebrating.
Something that has really impressed me about the way the SHU community has celebrated Valentine’s Day this year is the focus on the Red Flag Campaign. Society has very interesting views on what love is and sometimes Valentine’s Day can perpetuate that view of love.
The Red Flag Campaign focuses on making people aware of the faces of abusive relationships. They have practical advice to getting help and helping your friends. Most people know someone in an unhealthy relationship. We tend to overlook such cases and justify them with the term “love.” The abundance of red flags, posters and events around campus are bringing the issue of domestic violence to light at SHU.
8. Every holiday is commercialized, and Valentine’s Day is no exception.
Are we going to devalue Christmas because businesses use it to make tons of money? Should we disregard the Super Bowl because it’s all about the advertising? America makes money on everything.
We can’t stop enjoying holidays just because there are money making ventures associated with them. Valentine’s Day is what you make of it, as cheesy as that sounds.