Column: Don’t let holiday commercialization cause stress

Madisen Paulson

Madisen Paulson

Every year on February 14, the world fills with lovers, chocolates, roses, and giant stuffed teddy bears. The day that has lost most of its meaning: Valentine’s Day.

Starting way back in 44 BC, what is now “Valentine’s Day” used to be “the pagan celebration of Lupercalia.” The celebration was on February 15 and was a day dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture. According to, Lupercalia started the initial rise of Christianity and was announced “un-Christian” at the end of the fifth century. Later on in the 5th century, Pope Gelasius stated that February 14 would be St. Valentine’s Day, the day dedicated to love.

February 14 finally came into play in the 5th century named after the Christian martyr, St. Valentine. states that the holiday used to be celebrated with friends and lovers where they would exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the 1900s printed cards began to replace the more meaningful written letters because of the improved printing technologies.

In today’s society, Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to everything romantic. It is a day when people and their significant others spend time with each other and usually buy each other gifts or do something special.  I think Valentine’s Day is a little overrated; there should not be a certain day dedicated to “love.” Even though it is the thought that counts, I think if you love someone you should be able to express it to your loved one everyday, not on just one holiday.

Do not get me wrong, I do enjoy the whole Valentine’s Day “vibe.” I love looking around the stores at the massive bears and large boxes of candy, but it seems to be more commercialized than it actually should be. If you love someone, buy her a bouquet of flowers on a random Monday in May. Buy him a new t-shirt on a random day in March; do not wait for the day they expect something from you.

Valentine’s Day has lost most of its meaning to me. It used to be more about how you felt about someone rather than stressing yourself out trying to get the perfect gift to make someone happy.

This Valentine’s Day, spend time with your significant other or with your pets watching Netflix, eating the chocolates you bought for yourself. But whatever you do, make sure you don’t forget the true meaning of Valentine’s Day.