The Explorer

Looking past the gifts to find the true meaning of Valentine’s Day

Every year more than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of candy are sold in the U.S. on Valentine’s Day, and more than $1 billion is spent on chocolate alone.

Used with permission/Pexels

Every year more than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of candy are sold in the U.S. on Valentine’s Day, and more than $1 billion is spent on chocolate alone.

Jenna Poleykett, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Every February, millions of people around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day, showing their loved ones affection and gracing them with expensive or romantic gifts. In fact, more than a billion Valentine’s day cards are sent every year, second only to Christmas, and about 200 million roses are produced specifically for Feb. 14. In total, the U.S. alone spends $20 billion on Valentine’s Day every year.

For many, this number is a piece of the problem with Valentine’s Day — many say the day has become about who can buy the fanciest gift or the most luxurious dinner, rather than showing true devotion and love. Unfortunately, the holiday has become a time to expose your bank account instead of your heart’s desires. Valentine’s Day has even been branded a “Hallmark holiday,” meaning it was popularized by companies so they could profit from the pressure to splurge.

However, Valentine’s Day, or the more historically accurate “Saint Valentine’s Day” is nothing new; Valentine’s Day has been recognized in some form since the 1300s. One legend claims that the day is named after one Saint Valentine (there are two others with the same name) who continued to perform marriage ceremonies after Roman leader Claudius II outlawed all marriages for young men; he believed single men made better warriors. After that, February in whole has been seen as a month of romance for centuries, and Valentine’s Day reached America way back in the 1840s. So sure, card companies and chocolate factories may have commercialized and sensationalized the holiday, but what smart business wouldn’t?

For those who claim the day makes them feel lonely, without a boyfriend or girlfriend to spend the day with, consider this: you can show love for people in your life beyond your significant other! Spend the night with your single friends, watching rom-coms and eating chocolate, or with your family, exchanging gifts.

“You should just be able to appreciate anyone you love in your life. It’s a great excuse to hang out with your friends and show how much you love them,” says junior Caroline Funk.

No one says Valentine’s Day must be reserved for romantic love only.

Junior Aly McVan says, “I love Valentine’s Day. I love getting chocolate and giving flowers to everyone, and just all around spreading the love. Also it’s my birthday.”

I won’t try to claim that the idea of spending hundreds of dollars every Valentine’s Day, putting a price tag on love, is a bit demeaning or commercialized. I only suggest that rather than condemning the entire holiday, make it your own. Just take an extra second to tell someone you love them or make a kind gesture. Let the kids exchange innocent valentines made of heart-shaped construction paper or store-bought joke cards with taped-on lollipops. Let people spend horrendous amount of money if that’s their thing. Sure, you can express your love on all 364 other days of the year, but what’s the harm in choosing one day to be a little more in love?

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
Navigate Right
The student news site of Hudson High School
Looking past the gifts to find the true meaning of Valentine’s Day