Valentine’s Day stems all the way back from ancient Rome where St Valentine secretly married couples in love against the rulings of Emperor Claudius II. He believed that people’s concentration should be on the war and he threw St Valentine into jail for his law-breaking, and St Valentine died on the 14th February. On the eve of his death, he sent a note to his beloved signing it ‘from your Valentine’ & the rest is history…
Now in 2017, Valentine’s Day sees jewellery sales peaking on the 8th February, flowers doubling in price leading up to the 14th and countless adverts on finding the ‘perfect gift for the one you love’ running from mid-January. Valentine’s Day gives me mixed feelings, while I love reading everybody’s posts and seeing people celebrate their nearest and dearest, I can’t help feeling that somewhere in the over-commercialised mess and social media culture that Valentine’s Day has lost its true meaning.
Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day of showing appreciation for the people who you love and care for the most, be it a life partner, a family member or a friend. Nowadays it feels like a money trap for couples where the only way to show your appreciation is a fancy 3 course dinner, some very Instagram-able roses, or an expensive trip to Pandora.
I think my problem with Valentine’s Day lies with the fact that so much emphasis is placed on finding the perfect gift to show how you feel about someone, that the present becomes more about money than any sentiment behind it. It shouldn’t take one day of the year to go the extra mile for someone you love, nor should it be the only day of the year that you showcase them. I’m not arguing that you shouldn’t make an effort on Valentine’s Day, I’m all for being a hopeless romantic and I’d happily argue that someone who doesn’t agree that there’s no better feeling than feeling loved and showing someone how much you love them is a liar. But when did we have to start breaking the bank to show someone how much we care about them? Why can’t we all just be content with a cosy night in and a Netflix marathon? So much emphasis is placed on this one day, yet I just guarantee that a random display of affection on any other 364 days of the year, where it hasn’t been drilled into you since January that Valentine’s is approaching, would mean so much more to your other half!