By Maddy Lockwood, Certified lover girl (of Valentine’s Day)
There is not a thing in this world that could dampen my love for Valentine’s Day. Some bitter and cynical people claim that Valentine’s Day is just a holiday that forces people to buy gifts for their significant other, but I hold the opinion that Valentine’s Day is for celebrating your love for the people in your life (and Valentine’s Day shouldn't be the only day you are celebrating your significant other). Most importantly, everyone can (and should) be celebrating every Valentine’s Day that rolls around, regardless of whether or not you have a valentine.
Valentine’s Day originated from a Christian feast holiday celebrating St. Valentine, a Christian martyr, and there are many possible explanations for how this Christian feast transformed into the holiday that we know and love today. Some embellished legends claim that after restoring sight to his jailer’s daughter, St. Valentine signed off on a letter to her as “Your Valentine” before his execution. This story is what some believe was the beginning of the association of love with St. Valentine. Somewhere in the eighth century, people began to celebrate the feast annually on Feb. 14, like it is today! Later on, courtship was popular, as were the romanticized ideas of couples being the “lovebirds” that were seen at the beginning of spring during the 14th and 15th centuries. Around the 18th century, couples began exchanging gifts and letters which later became known as valentines. The tradition carried on to today.
All of this history basically tells me that anyone who claims that Valentine’s Day is just a huge money grab from big corporations is wrong — and probably a little bitter! The day has history and interesting facts that lead us all the way from a Christian martyr to writing love notes and buying candy for your closest friends.
Honestly, I know that some people just don’t like Valentine’s Day. I won’t be able to convince them otherwise, but my greatest piece of advice is to just buy into it! Any opportunity you have to celebrate the people in your life, you should take it. It is a fun day where we walk around our normal daily lives in subtly (or not so subtly) themed outfits and hope that we see our valentine or our best gal-entines with a special little gift for us! Maybe Valentine’s Day is a regular day costumed in red hearts and flowers, but I think that is what makes the day the most special: it’s just a day!