Vile-ntines Day

Valentine’s Day is the most disappointing holiday of the year


Credit: Alice Kasdan ’24

Valentine’s day is not a great holiday, and not even in a charismatic way like St. Patrick’s Day. While the chance to spend the day expressing love for the one that loves you back is an undeniably beautiful thing, celebrating a good Valentine’s Day takes jumping through so many hoops it is not worth the trouble. Valentine’s Day is pathetic due to the depressing tone, rampant price hikes, and the lack of time to celebrate.

Let’s start with the holiday’s main message: love. It is undeniable that being romantic with the one you love is one of the great gifts of life. Then why is Valentine’s Day one of the saddest days of the year? If you aren’t in a relationship, seeing all of the sappy ads and the lovey-dovey social media posts make it hard to maintain morale. And if you are in a relationship, seeing those who mope and whine will shatter any happiness you might feel. The love in the air is shot down by pity and loneliness. 

Next, the shows of affection. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be the day to show your love, but when one chooses to show that love with monetary gifts, you’ll find yourself spending a pretty penny. According to the National Retail Association, the average American spends $231 on Valentine’s Day. This is a perfectly fine number, but the problem lies with what is actually being purchased. Besides the cheap cards and chocolates, some fancier restaurants mark up their prices to a 60 percent increase. Combined with the rampant advertisements that promote a ‘product equals love’ narrative, those who simply cannot afford to spend money are left feeling inadequate. That is the direct opposite of what Valentine’s Day should be. 

Even if you can’t feel the mood or spend the money, you can still spend time with the person you love, right? Well, Valentine’s Day is not a public holiday. The government has not declared any days devoted to your lover, and thus most people spend their Valentine’s Day devoted to their job. People still have to go to school, work, and jury duty on Valentine’s Day, just like any other day. Having Valentine’s Day be a legal holiday would allow for couples to devote an entire day to each other, start to finish, which is what everyone wants from the holiday. Right now most couples have to settle for spending time after 5 p.m., or outsourcing their night for the weekend, which defeats the purpose of Valentine’s Day itself. 

Ultimately, Valentine’s Day is not what everyone thinks it is. It is a semi-depressing, over-expensive, non-holiday. The worst part is, you can’t be angry – just disappointed about the missed opportunity for a potentially heart-warming holiday. Luckily the idea of Valentine’s Day is a good one, and with some changes to the tone, and most importantly having it be an actual federal holiday, Valentine’s Day could become the heartwarming day that we all want it to be.