“Today is Valentine’s Day – or, as men like to call it, Extortion Day!”
– Jay Leno
You can’t argue against the commercialism that surrounds Christmas. For many the idea of ‘giving’ is replaced by the greedy ‘I want’ and, with all the new technology about, it’s hard to blame the majority. However, there seem to be a general consensus that the blame should be place on the younger generation. Yet, previous generations should take note; we can’t spoil ourselves can we?
Psychologists may claim that – in the current age of prosperity and modern wealth – parents want their kids to have a ‘better life’ and a ‘better childhood’ than they did, and this is why the ‘I want’ is so prominent. But when looking at how such a materialistic and consumerist society has manifested,there’s an argument for the claim that rather than creating a better life, they’ve encouraged a selfish life*.
However, the amount of commercialisation, despite how gaga the UK goes over ‘Xmas’, must also be blamed upon corporations and they’re promotion of consumerism that developed throughout the 20th Century.
The same commercialism that has enveloped Christmas is overly evident in ‘All Hallows Eve’ – or rather ‘Halloween’ as it is more commonly known – where ‘witch week’ is forgotten and ‘trick or treating’ is promoted. Again, this provides another chance for retailers to reap money and rewards for costumes and sweets, preying on the media-fuelled and expectation-driven society which we now live in. And it seems like it is happening all over again; this time with Valentine’s Day.
Originally a day of celebration for ‘St. Valentine’, Valentine’s Day has quickly become a day that is denounced and disliked by singles – who find themselves without anyone to share it with – as well as men and women who are in relationships.
Why? Because of an inner struggle with four specific words: have I spent enough?
This question is what presents Valentine’s Day as another corporate money-maker. ‘All Hallows Eve’ and Christmas have fallen foul, and now Valentine’s.
The enormity of the pressure that is placed upon finding the right present and spoiling your significant other may be over-looked by many, but what exactly does it promote? That we can only spoil the one we love once a year? That there is no other day of the year in which we are allowed to express our feelings for someone?
Why is it so important to celebrate Valentine’s Day anyway? It has ended many a relationship and left men and women with many a sleepless night, full of worry if there gift will match up to expectations. More than that, it infers that for the other 364 (or 365 in a Leap Year) days of the year we don’t need to do anything to celebrate our relationships. What is so special about Valentine’s Day? What is so special about February 14th that makes it more important than the 15th?
At the end of the day it comes down to money. A concept has been taken advantage on to promote materialism; isolating singles and degrading relationships. Personally, I think Valentine’s might as well be forgotten, ignored, and cast-away. Bring back the days when we could surprise our loved ones on any day of the year, rather than inferring it should be restricted to one.
After all, love is special and if that is commercialised, what are we to do then?
“I do not want horses or diamonds – I am happy in possessing you.”
– Clara Schumann