Valentine’s Day is Not a Holiday for Gift-Giving


Couples anxiously await the upcoming arrival of Valentine’s Day, the holiday for expressing love and affection, and with the scramble to buy gifts and make reservations for the special day, the significance of the holiday is called into question. Valentine’s Day has been corrupted by the materialism that has overtaken this generation. 

Valentine’s Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Valentine, was first celebrated to honor Saint Valentine and became associated with love in the late 14th and 15th centuries in connection to the lovebirds of early spring. For centuries, Valentine’s Day has been an occasion for couples to express love and romance toward their significant others with meaningful gestures. The staples being flowers, candy or chocolates and cards expressing love.As time has passed, however, these small yet meaningful gestures have diminished and are being replaced with their materialistic counterparts. 

In recent weeks, social media has been overflowing with “gift ideas” for Valentine’s Day. Creators post videos detailing various items, that girls “actually want” or products that boyfriends will “definitely use.” Although these items may seem like perfect gifts, these videos project unrealistic expectations for couples to meet, and distract from the real meaning of Valentine’s Day. 

As material expectations become a norm for Valentine’s Day, the holiday shifts further from the intended meaning. People often spend time shopping and searching for gifts in order to keep up with the materialistic expectations now associated with Valentine’s Day. The pressure from society to buy gifts for this holiday now overwhelms couples, and people will look to buy gifts rather than focus on the sentiment behind the gifts they are giving. The idea of buying good gifts can be overwhelming and often results in gifting something impersonal and meaningless, like a gift card or a sweatshirt, when their attention could be focused in other ways to better honor their love for each other. 

Valentine’s Day is special in comparison to other holidays, as it requires people to show their love in ways different from other holidays. At Thanksgiving, loved ones connect by sharing food and at Christmas and on birthdays love is shown through gift-giving. Although these traditions are suitable and enjoyable during these holidays, they also invoke lots of stress and pressure. Valentine’s Day does not need the same pressure associated with it because of the new materialistic expectations. The stress couples will feel in finding gifts that fully express their love for one another is overwhelming and unnecessary. 

Although gift-giving is a love language, and can be an expression of love in certain situations, it is not for everyone and should not be an expectation. Flowers symbolize love, life and romance and are a simple gesture that can be incredibly meaningful. Moreover, a card with a hand-written sentiment inside is a representation of love and dedication and far more meaningful than a store-bought gift. Taking the time to plan a date, or make a reservation shows dedication and a desire to spend time with each other; again, far more sentimental than anything bought in a store. 

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, and people should not be dependent on materialistic possessions to show their love for each other. By staying true to the traditions of Valentines Day, this holiday will remain a sentimental occasion, and true to its intended purpose.