American Culture: Valentine’s Day!
It’s February 14th and hearts, chocolate, and flowers abound! What day is it? Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day!
Now this day is celebrated in many ways in many parts of the world, but Americans have differing views on this “day of romantic love.”
(1) Valentine’s Day is the day that couples everywhere buy each other gifts and expect displays of romanticism and caring. Jewelry,
chocolate, flowers, stuffed animals, balloons, and romantic dates are used to show your love for your partner. Males and females give each other gifts in America; we don’t celebrate White Day or have some other holiday for the other half to return the affection so it’s all done on this one day. Some people adamantly state that it’s the thought that counts while others correlate the size of the gift or display with how much their partner cares for them. Either way, Valentine’s Day is a day that lovers expect to spend together (or at least thinking of each other if it’s long-distance) doing something to show the other that they care.
(2) S.A.D. Day is Valentine’s day for all the single people out there! Single Awareness Day is acknowledged as both good and bad depending on the person. Some people resent the displays of love and affection between couples all over the place and are unhappy while others get together with other single friends and party! I usually grabbed my roommates (one single, one in a long-distance) and we would go out to dinner together and then stay-in for a movie night! This day presents a wonderful challenge showing the power of positive thinking!
(3) There is also a group that refuses to acknowledge Valentine’s Day because they believe it has become too commercial. And it’s true that stores have had candy, lingerie, and heart decorations everywhere since mid-January trying to get customers in the mood
to buy lavish gifts for their significant other. Every commercial on T.V. is full of happy couples joyously presenting another diamond or bouquet to each other. Again, I recommend positive thinking! If you let yourself get caught up in the commercialism you lose the meaning behind your gifts and I would understand why people don’t like that. So remember it’s the thought that counts! 😉
(4) Another group, single or paired off, recognizes Valentine’s Day as ‘the day of love’ and shares this with everyone. Neighbors, friends, family, lovers, enemies,yourself, everyone! They see it as a day where the community can work towards making anyone they come across a little bit happier by showing they care. Give someone a smile, maybe even a hug! Brighten someone’s day. People give chocolate or little gifts and cards to their friends and family. This is the group I joined this year, my parents are taking me out to dinner tonight and I received a wonderful little box of my favorite candy: Reese’s!
I’m sure there are other groups that didn’t make this list but these are the major viewpoints I have come across in my life.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated usually in elementary schools with a class party and the giving of small candy and/or fun cards with popular cartoon or movie characters on them. Usually it is a wonderful time for crafts and creative lessons! There aren’t usually
parties in Jr. High and High schools but all over the school are boys and girls carting around stuffed animals and balloons from their boyfriends and girlfriends. I’ve seen girls trying to carry stuffed bears bigger than themselves between classes! Valentine’s Grams are a popular school fundraiser at all levels. For anywhere from a quarter to $5 different clubs and organizations in the school sell and will deliver flowers, cards, candy, or stuffed animals to another persons classroom. My high school choir and band came in during class and sang as an option for their Grams.
No matter how you’re celebrating, use this day to tell the important people in your life that you care! I think it’s wonderful that an entire day is devoted to love and friendship like this. It’s a nice reminder to you and your loved ones that you are not alone and always have each other.
Happy Valentine’s Day all!
How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you belong to any of the groups listed, or more than one? 🙂