There are several legends swirling around about the history of St. Valentine and where exactly Valentine’s Day originated. The Roman Catholic Church recognizes three saints named either Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first ‘valentine’ greeting himself to a young girl with whom he fell in love during his imprisonment. It is alleged that he signed the letter, ‘From your Valentine,’ which is still used today.
What is most notable and disheartening about the holiday is that it has turned into an overly commercialized day where greeting cards are printed in excess, roses and candy are oozing from nearly every area of the grocery store, jewelry stores advertise huge sales and the small, yet significant, meaningful acts are left overlooked.
An estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second-largest card-sending holiday, next to Christmas, according to the Greeting Card Association, and nearly 85 percent of valentines are purchased by women.
The days of writing a heartfelt message or taking the time to think of something truly special to make the one you love feel valued and priceless has been replaced by the need for over-the-top, exaggerated and almost always costly measures intended, mostly, just to impress.
Although some spend Valentine’s Day with a group of friends, laughing and enjoying the single life, others are reminded, yet again, that they are single, waiting for their special someones.
In such a superficiality-driven society, do we honestly need one more reason to question ourselves?
And for those who do have that special someone to spend the holiday with, there is such an emphasis on making the day memorable and one of a kind, that it is, often times, doomed to fail and disappoint.
Valentine’s Day should be about recognizing the simple acts of love and putting value back into the relationship, not the material items associated with the day. If you’re single, this day should be about celebrating yourself and who you are as an individual.
Editor in Chief Courtney Reese for the editorial board.