Love doesn't need a holiday

Posted Wednesday, December 2, 2009 - 2:28am

Lisa Anderson

staff writer

[email protected]

On Feb. 14, the question "Will you be my Valentine?" will be asked by many people across the nation. Cards will be opened, chocolates eaten and roses placed in vases throughout the day. This magical day will also inspire a variety of men to place a ring on the finger of their loved one, signaling the start of a new life. Before this day of love ends, will anyone ask why love means more on this single day than on any other?

While the origin of Valentine's Day is shrouded in myth, one point agreed upon is that the holiday hasn't been around forever. People managed to celebrate their love without Valentine's Day, so why does modern society depend on it so much? Have our lives become so busy that we need an official day to remind us to give our loved one a gift?

Men especially have a hard time when it comes to Valentine's Day. Every year you can see guys darting through the various stores, grabbing that last-minute gift for their sweetheart. Many unfortunate souls forget, later suffering a woman's cries of "You must not love me." Personally I have always thought that a gift of love given solely because of the day means far less than something given freely. Gradually other people are adopting this attitude, much to the relief of men and wallets everywhere.

Instead of waiting for Feb. 14 to show someone you care for them, why not try March 2, or Jan. 20? Kindness and love can be celebrated anywhere, at any time, without losing impact. If anything, emotions celebrated without the influence of card companies should hold more value than even the fanciest gift bought out of obligation.

Some people prefer celebrating on Valentine's Day. For those that refuse to shun the market trends, there are a few helpful hints that can at least lighten the load on your paycheck. Flowers are a very popular Valentine's Day gift, specifically roses. Even when bargain hunting, the average cost for a dozen roses can range from $30 to $70. After paying so much for 12 simple flowers, you then have to deal with them dying a few days later. One alternative is buying a dozen carnations instead, which can range from $15 to $30. Not only do carnations cost less, they live longer, and have long served as an alternative to roses.

Another problem is chocolate. Chocolate has long been a favorite Valentine's Day gift, though prices can range from $3 to $50. If you happen to fall in the higher price range, why not just go out for a nice dinner instead? It doesn't have to be extremely fancy, but a nice meal in a sit-down restaurant will mean far more than a box of sweets in the long run.

No matter how you celebrate it, love has become a major holiday. With Valentine's Day card sales reaching the billion mark easily, it's clear how widely celebrated the holiday is. Celebrating love is important, but not when the reason for doing so is due to a day made famous through commercialism. People need to start showing their love because they want to, not because a commercials tells them to. At some point the saying "It's the thought that counts," lost its meaning. For something as important as love, the thought behind the emotion really should matter the most.

On Feb. 14 this year, try to have a normal day. Instead, try giving chocolate, a card, or flowers to your sweetheart a week early. Go out for a nice dinner a few days after Valentine's Day. Somehow, in some way, show the person you love that you don't need a holiday to appreciate them. That motto works well for this married person, and can work just as well for almost anyone.

Filed under: viewpoints