Valentine's Day; should you celebrate it or not?

Valentine's Day; should you celebrate it or not?

Recently I was watching the series “Emily in Paris” when they discussed Valentine's Day. The main character, Emily, explained to her colleague that Valentine's Day is widely celebrated in the USA, which is the opposite of Valentine's Day in France. This got me thinking, because why do some people celebrate and others don't? What makes Valentine's Day fun or not?

When I lived in London 8 years ago I first became really aware of the shopping frenzy surrounding Valentine's Day. In most stores it was impossible to miss that the day of love was coming; in addition to hundreds of hearts for decoration, you could find roses, cuddly bears, chocolate and (XL) love cards in many stores. I actually liked it, but something inside me said it was too commercial. This brings me to the question: Valentine's Day, should you celebrate it or not?

Why you shouldn't celebrate Valentine's Day

A simple argument often given is that you can declare love any day of the year. This does not necessarily have to be on February 14. And of course there is some truth in that. Because who cares if you tell your crush on Valentine's Day that you love him, or the day after? I think Valentine's Day is very commercially exploited. Your emotions and feelings are being played upon, because 'everyone does something with Valentine's Day'. This unconsciously creates a compulsion that you also have to buy something to show your love.

This brings me to the next reason why you shouldn't celebrate Valentine's Day: sustainability. After all, it is another holiday moment when you buy/consume something again and that is far from sustainable. Do we really need another reason to consume more? For example, because you buy roses for V-Day, the demand for roses increases on this specific day. As a result, more roses have to be grown and this, of course, leads to more use of the earth's resources.

The above arguments give enough reason why you shouldn't celebrate Valentine's Day. But there are also supporters of this day, so what makes it so special that we might have to consider celebrating it?

Why Valentine's Day can be so nice and fun to celebrate

Let's go back to basics first, because what can make Valentine's Day so much fun? The tension! My first memories of Valentine's Day are from high school. When I was 15 I moved to Enschede (NL) and I ended up at a school where you could send each other roses on Valentine's Day. The nice thing was that this could be done anonymously, which of course made it extra exciting whether you would receive a rose and who it came from. There was a lot of giggling and the whole day was dominated by the roses. And now that I look back on it, it was actually really fun!

Another thing that can make Valentine's Day fun is the fact that showing your love or appreciation can do someone else good. The day is no longer just about a lover, but you can also show your mother or best friend that you care. And nothing is more fun than getting a compliment, right? In addition, it may just come at a time when the other person really needs it. All this, of course, provided that the love or appreciation is mutual.

A third thing that can make Valentine's Day nice to celebrate is a bit far-fetched, but can also be very useful: getting to know yourself. On this day it is more accessible to be open about your love or appreciation for someone. This makes showing love a little easier and maybe you like 'being open' so much that you keep doing it! This is how you develop yourself even further.

Enough reasons why you should celebrate Valentine's Day, but this also makes it so difficult at the same time. What should you do now? Do you want to go along with the commercial part of it or should you leave it behind?

Pro-V-day, but under conditions

Personally, I think showing your appreciation and love is always good and important. It makes you open to others and you can make the other person feel good, provided the love is mutual. Only in my opinion this does not necessarily have to be on Valentine's Day, this can actually be any day of the year. It is true that it will be made a bit easier and more accessible commercially in the run-up to February 14, because there are plenty of “Valentine's Day” items for sale.

Speaking of which, if you want to show your love by buying something for someone else, do it in a sustainable way. So no big foil balloons and a teddy bear, but go for products with a purpose and that are organic or responsible. The Valentine's boxes that I have put together for Earth Friendly Gift Box consist of these kinds of products, from organic herbal teas to natural skin care. Because you can also be a lasting inspiration for others on Valentine's Day.

Then the question remains: do you celebrate it or not? Whatever you choose, make sure it suits you and do what makes you feel good.