Someone recently left a comment under one of my columns asking if I ever write anything positive. It made me laugh, but then I realized I tend to focus on negative topics in my articles. However, I am generally an optimistic person. Though there are many things to worry about in the world, when I find something positive in my life I always celebrate it. That is why I love Valentine’s Day.
I adore the holiday for what it’s about at its core: celebrating love. Not just romantic love, but all kinds: platonic love, love shared among a family and self-love. Capitalism turned the holiday into a day of cheap chocolates and poorly made stuffed animals. However, you don’t have to buy mass-produced, unoriginal presents to express your love. Most of the hatred toward the holiday comes from the idea that there is only one way to spend it. That is, you should shower your significant other with lavish gifts and have over-the-top displays of affection. In reality, there are so many different ways to show someone you love them, and not having a romantic partner is perfectly OK.
I have to be honest. I’m kind of a sucker for all the cliche stuff. Of course, I don’t appreciate the wastefulness of boxed chocolates or balloons, but I love seeing the pink and red decorations everywhere. Valentine’s themed food in cafes, paper hearts hanging on doorways or people selling candy grams always improves my mood.
Most people, however, think those things are vomit-inducing. Which is fine, but I don’t think that should stop you from enjoying the holiday altogether. Try to do something with your loved ones that makes you all happy. Create the perfect day with your friends or partners based on your favorite memories together. Tailor Valentine’s Day to your interests and you will have a great time. The point is not to let the pressure to be in a relationship or the unrealistic expectations set by movies ruin the day.
Some may argue the holiday is superficial, and you should celebrate and cherish your partner every day. While that is true, a lot of us are busy constantly, and we don’t always appreciate our loved ones as much as we should. That’s why I think taking one day of the year to focus on just that is a great idea. There is probably at least one person you love who likes to feel special and adored, so show them how thankful you are to have them in your life.
Let us take advantage of any day that celebrates being with loved ones. With so many issues in the news and our personal lives, most people are stressed or anxious a majority of the time. Hating a positive holiday is just another way to waste the little energy we have left after school or work siphons most of it away. That energy could be put to better use making a cute card for your mom, having a party with your friends, cooking a meal with your partner or focusing on self-care. So try to look past the typicality of Valentine’s Day and do something that makes you happy and fulfilled because there aren’t enough days dedicated to just that.