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Lt. Cmdr. Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, a Navy physician anesthesiologist deployed at the NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit on Kandahar Airfield, wishes a happy Valentine's Day to his partner in Nashville, Tenn.

This article contains opinion. Mechling is speaking for those against Valentine’s Day, while Carbone takes the pro-side.

 

Mechling’s Take: Against

 

To some, Valentine’s Day is a special holiday that is spent with a loved one or loved ones when they receive gifts like stuffed animals, chocolates and flowers. 

There’s often a nice trip to a restaurant or a home-cooked meal made with love to top off the romantic celebration. 

However, Valentine’s Day is incredibly commercialized. 

Valentine’s Day is no doubt a highly profitable holiday. It’s a big money-making opportunity for a number of companies.

In fact, many claim that Valentine’s Day was invented by greeting card companies to make more money. On top of greeting cards profiting, florists, candy and chocolate companies and restaurants profit as well. 

It is somewhat expected if you’re in a relationship that you buy your significant other a number of gifts and treat them to the special day. 

If you don’t, it’s somewhat frowned upon. Others judge you and ask you why you didn’t shower your partner with gifts and take them out to a nice restaurant or cook them food. 

If you are against Valentine’s Day, you’re viewed as stuck up or weird because you’re not into the supposed “loving” holiday. 

Even while I was in relationships, I always felt the pressure to buy gifts for my significant other and that I needed to somehow “celebrate” the made-up holiday.

I also think that single people may feel awful about the holiday, too, since Valentine’s Day is centered on couples and people in relationships. 

I work at Dollar Tree, where we stocked Valentine’s Day merchandise soon after Christmas. Cards are always a popular item to purchase at the dollar store since cards are either $1.07 or 50 cents. 

According to GetFluid.com, approximately 131 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged, and according to the National Retail Federation, the average person celebrating Valentine’s Day spends nearly $142. 

Valentine’s Day is also a highly sexualized holiday as well.

Other merchandise that are highly pushed during Valentine’s Day are lingerie, cologne, perfume and jewelry. Because Valentine’s Day is seen as a couples-only and romantic holiday, these products are highly advertised and pushed for consumers to buy. 

Anything, really, that contains red or pink colors or hearts can be marketed and branded to consumers for the holiday. 

For me, I think every day should be “Valentine’s Day,” especially if you truly love the other person or people in your life. 

People shouldn’t feel pressured and have a major commercialized holiday be the reason why they’re showering their loved ones with gifts and making them feel special. 

Like a lot of things in America, things are over-advertised and overdone with products and materialized objects that often are meant to represent emotion.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Valentine’s Day can be a special day and has good intentions when people spend the time with their loved ones, but when advertisements and products are pushed down our throats, it’s no wonder why there are many people who dislike the holiday. 

That’s the main reason why I am often against Valentine’s Day overall. The meaning of the “holiday” has diminished and become so commercialized that it’s often overdone. 

But, the commercialized holiday aside, spend time with your loved one or loved ones every day. Tell them you love them and how important they are in your life, because that’s ultimately the most important thing to get out of Valentine’s Day in my opinion. 

 

Carbone’s Take: Pro

 

Valentine’s Day is one of the most highly anticipated holidays throughout the year.  

People either love or hate it; there’s no in-between. Many people tend to not like it because the stereotype is that it’s spent between two significant others. Besides this reason, there many other reasons why Valentine’s Day is a perfect holiday for everyone to enjoy.

Reason #1: It’s all about love. 

Whether you’re in a relationship, your mom and dad give you a gift every year or you’re hanging out with friends, Valentine’s Day is a day when you can show everyone in your life that you care about them! Many sad things happen in our world today, and who doesn’t need a little love sometimes?

Reason #2: Discounted candy and chocolate. 

There are so many different kinds of sweet treats to buy for yourself, friends or a significant other for the holiday. Sometimes everyone is craving something sweet, especially on Valentine’s Day. Grab a bag of your favorite candy, cuddle up and watch a movie.

Reason #3: Organizations host bake sales. 

My sorority had a Valentine’s Day sweets and treats bake sale Wednesday. It’s the perfect way to grab a snack between classes, last minute gifts for someone you care about and overall just spreads love throughout the campus. 

Reason #4: It’s beneficial to show others love.

Reminding your significant other how much they mean to you is important any day of the year, but it’s nice to hear it on Valentine’s Day. My significant other and I are going out to eat at a BBQ restaurant and then going to cuddle up to a movie. Many couples have a very simple Valentine’s Day, but it’s still nice to celebrate since it is the day of love. There isn’t a right way to celebrate Valentine’s Day; it’s all up to you and your partner(s) or friends.

Reason #5: Cost of gifts is irrelevant.

Whether it be an expensive dinner and jewelry or a pizza and a Redbox movie, there is no “certain” way to celebrate the day. 

My boyfriend and I have been together for four years now.  Every year, we go out to dinner and buy each other something small. I personally don’t feel that Valentine’s Day should be like Christmas. I believe that a little something to show your appreciation goes a long way. 

Reason #6: This is the perfect day to try something new. 

If you’ve been wanting to check out a new restaurant, see that new movie, check out the new museum or go on a trip, this is the perfect holiday to do it. Why not step out of your comfort zone on a holiday centered around love?

Overall, Valentine’s Day is a unique holiday that is celebrated in many different ways. I look forward to the holiday every year and enjoy seeing pictures of everyone else’s activities. I hope everyone has a great day celebrating love!

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