After the main winter holidays are over, a new year begins and school starts. It seems as though the weeks drag out and the world is mundane again. That is, until the infamous love holiday, Valentine’s Day, rolls around. Everyone is eager to celebrate and scrambles to find a valentine.
It’s easy to feel lovesick walking around grocery stores and supermarkets while surrounded by stuffed animals, hearts, flowers and so much candy. However, you shouldn’t be thinking about getting a date for Valentine’s Day. Ask why we need a holiday that celebrates love through expensive gift giving. Love should be shared regardless of the day. The amount of money we spend to show our affection doesn’t compare to spending meaningful time with the person we love.
As much as we support the message behind Valentine’s Day, we cannot ignore that the holiday epitomizes capitalism. For companies, the big day of “love” signifies monetary gain.
According to a study conducted by CompareCards, the average U.S. citizen expects to spend $142 this Valentine’s Day. The respondents also stated that the maximum amount of money their partner should spend on gifts and dates is about $200.
Rather than emphasizing love through sweet gestures and quality time, capitalism in the U.S. enforces the idea that Valentine’s Day should be about spending money.
At some point in history, U.S. citizens became convinced that the amount of money spent on a partner equals the amount of love we have for them. It is time we change this narrative for the sake of our wallets and our ethics.