A cautionary word

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Many people believe that Valentines Day is a day that sends shivers up men’s spines, and warms women’s hearts. However, are there not countless men who enjoy expressing their love and devotion to their partners and countless women who wouldn’t mind wiping the day off the calendar?

Many people believe that Valentines Day is a day that sends shivers up men’s spines, and warms women’s hearts. However, are there not countless men who enjoy expressing their love and devotion to their partners and countless women who wouldn’t mind wiping the day off the calendar? Some claim it is one more day for men to forget about, causing them undue troubles and more nights of sleeping on the couch.
One study found that 84% of Canadians celebrate Valentine’s Day and of those, 60.9% spent an average of $100.89 on a gift for their significant other. Valentine’s Day is one of four major holidays in the shopping calendar alongside Christmas, Halloween, and Easter, making it one of the most lucrative holidays for businesses. Cupid’s arrow     definitely strikes gold at this time of the year.
Many people are well aware of the day’s commercialization: “It’s a day for retailers to make a lot of money”; “it’s more commercialized now,”; and “I think its all about money! Everything is so expensive, overrated, and overcrowded. It’s a waste of money day.” 
And surprisingly, many believe there is no need to spend a lot on the day – “Valentines day can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. There are lots of options that cost little to no money.” As one person explained, “There’s no need to exchange expensive gifts, and no need for out-rageous expectations, or spending any money at all. It’s a simple few minutes, hours or a day of sharing one another’s undivided attention. Writing someone a poem or love note costs nothing, but it is priceless to the recipient.”
If people are aware of the commercialization surrounding the day, and recognize that money is not needed to express affection, how is Valentine’s Day so profitable for retailers? Is there a disconnect between saying and doing? Or has the retail world succeeded in   making us feel guilty if we don’t get ‘a little something’ for our loved ones?
The commercialization of Valentine’s Day has reduced romance to something that can be purchased – boiling it down to something that can be checked off every year on February 14th. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Does the expression of love and      appreciation really need a special day? Something as simple as an unexpected call at work, a compliment, holding someone’s hand, or simply saying ‘thank you’ can really make all the difference.
Don’t let romance be reduced to a single day, a single card, or a single box of chocolates. Wouldn’t that lovely card, a nice dinner, or a bouquet of flowers be much more appreciated and effective at expressing your feelings if they were to be given outside of a holiday that has conditioned us to give them?
There is nothing wrong   with joining the masses and going above and beyond on Valentine’s Day. But remember, there are another 364 days in the year!
Allyson Beauregard, Editor