Commercializing cupid: pricing out Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is a holiday meant for celebrating love, whether more traditionally with a significant other, or simply with friends. Many teenagers often spend money on roses, chocolate, teddy bears, and sweets with cheesy “be mine” messages to give to their special someone. Although everyone may enjoy free sweets and the corny jokes, some believe that Valentine’s Day has been turned into a commercial holiday, existing to drive consumerism.

Senior Maria Leyba believes that Valentine’s Day, a holiday intended to celebrate love, has been commercialized by companies. “High schoolers tend to spend money on Valentine’s gifts because they believe it makes their significant other feel more special and appreciated,” she said. Junior Tiffany Liu agreed, explaining that the feeling of being obligated to buy something to something is what  “feeds the market” and “leads to a continuous cycle.” Freshman Matthew Algenio feels that society contributes to this sense of obligation. “I believe that couples shouldn’t be obligated to give gifts on Valentine’s,” he added. 

However, junior Joyce Zheng disagrees. She believes that Valentine’s Day is comparable to Christmas, meaning that “in almost every holiday it is inevitable that you will spend money in one way or another.” She said, “If high schoolers have the money to spend to show their affection to a special person, they have a reason behind it and not just for pure money-spending pleasure.”

Junior Lilian Xu prefers to be gifted experiences rather than material items. “There are better, more sentimental ways like spending quality time together through experiences,” she said. “In the end, it all depends on your personality.”

Many agree that there are alternative ways to show affection other than spending money, such as watching a movie together, painting something that your partner may like, or baking some desserts for them. “Using any talents or skills you may have like crafting things is something your partner may appreciate,” Joyce said. 

Regardless, Valentine’s Day is a holiday meant to show your affection for all of your loved ones. “Spending a couple of dollars to buy plushies or the flowers that Glamour Girls sell or crafting something on your own is a cute way to show your appreciation. I think everyone can enjoy that,” Lilian concluded.