By Caitlin Bieganski, opinion editor
Cheesy poetic cards, expensive rose bouquets, over-sized stuffed bears, and heart shaped boxes of chocolates; once devoted to love and fertility, St. Valentine’s Day is now defined by mass-produced, costly, material goods.
When February rolls around, couples worldwide begin scrambling to prove their love. Not with heartfelt sentiments and handwritten letters, but with overly priced products that corporations have brainwashed us to believe are the true symbols of devotion.
With an average annual cost of around $13 billion, the holiday has become one of the most emotionally driven marketing scams of all time. This year, spending is predicted to reach nearly $19 billion. Time and time again, guys and girls are duped into feeling obligated to spend money on their significant others.
“They [gifts] are not really a must, but I still think it’s pretty important,” said sophomore Quaid Ross, who plans on buying his girlfriend Julia Sada a gift for the holiday. “It’s usually just chocolate or something, but it makes her happy,” Ross said; however, the purchase of Valentine’s gifts certainly does not justify your love. If you know a Valentine’s gift will please your beloved don’t fall victim to the glamorized mercantile creation that has been set up by large card and candy companies. These businesses create clever ad campaigns designed to take advantage of and exploit your desire to make that special person happy.
For example, Hallmark’s “Put your heart on paper” campaign consists of seven YouTube videos featuring diverse couples and contains enough emotional appeal to make even the toughest guy go out and buy one of their cards. But if you really want to show you care, if you really want to surprise your significant other, break out a pack of colored pencils and some cardstock and make them something unique and special. Or, if you’re lacking in artistic ability, settle for a home cooked meal by candle light.
Furthermore, remember that you don’t need a specified day to tell you when and how to show your feelings for your partner. Love is something more than candy, cards, and flowers. It is a concept that should be felt and expressed all 365 days a year.
Jackie Galford, features editor and Kaitlyn Walsh, staff writer
Valentine’s Day is usually pegged with candy, flowers, and cupid. However, there is much more to it than just these common traditions. Valentine’s Day goes all the way back to A.D. 270, to commemorate St. Valentine’s death and burial. A St. Valentine’s Day festival was celebrated in an ancient Roman city. According to legend, the young women in the city placed their names in a large urn. The city’s bachelors would pick a name and the chosen woman would become his significant other for the year, often ending in marriage.
At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius claimed February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day. But, the idea of love associated with Valentine’s day didn’t appear until the Middle Ages when France and England believed that this day was the beginning of birds’ mating season.
Even though Valentine’s greetings were popular in the Middle Ages, written greetings appeared in the 1400s. There is a poem still in existence today written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned.
During seventeenth and eighteenth century Great Britain, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of appreciation or affection with written notes and gifts. By 1900, technology improvements helped replace written notes with the first printed cards.
The celebration of Valentine’s Day in America began probably in the early 1700s with the exchanging of hand-made valentines. Ester A. Howland, the “Mother of the Valentine” made various creations with real lace, ribbons, and pictures in the 1840s.
Today, the common acts of Valentine’s Day include fancy boxes of chocolate, festive Valentine cards, and bouquets of red roses. But the origins of Valentine’s Day stretch back into the mists of time.
By Ellie Lybarger, design and Payton Brooks, social media
By Hunter Trzeciak, staff writer
Whether you are keeping your Valentine’s Day date night casual, or going all out with your someone special, it is the perfect time to add some extra oomph to your style. Feb. 14 is the perfect excuse to pull out all the stops, and your clothes are no exception.
Here are a few ideas to recreate or take inspiration from for your Valentine’s Day fashion!
“Chilling @ Home”: (Girl Outfit Description): An oversized sweater, leggings, and cute socks will keep you looking cute for a night in with your valentine.
Guy Outfit Description: Throw on some joggers and a t-shirt to set the tone for the greatest “Netflix and Chill” session ever!
“Casual”: (Girl Outfit Description) An adorable peplum shirt paired with burgundy jeans and your favorite pair of Converses or Vans would be great for a movie date. Paired with a simple necklace makes the perfect casual Valentine’s Day get-up!
Guy Outfit Description: A comfy long sleeve and your favorite pair of jeans and boots makes for a classic look. Add in a beanie and your date will be giving you the heart eyes!
“Dressy” : (Girls Outfit Description) If you want to go all out for your special someone, a flirty skater skirt and a statement necklace will be sure to impress!
Guy Outfit Description: A timeless sweater, black chinos and a nice watch gives off a romantic mood, for the perfect night.