Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day

Catherine McIntosh, Reporter

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The national holiday that celebrates love and romance is on the rise once again. Stores like Safeway, Target, Hallmark and others are filled with heart balloons, red and pink chocolates, and fluffy teddy bears all waiting to be bought and enjoyed by a loving couple. Younger children may celebrate by sharing candies in their class while teens go on romantic dates whilst holding hands. Even our school begins to fill up with massive PDA followed by the exchange of flowers and stuffed animals while our capitalist system feeds off our lust for cheap products representing our affection for our significant other. We see that as we grow older we tend to solidify our feelings towards this specific day, whether it’s positive, negative, or completely neutral.

The romantic holiday known as Valentine’s Day has a history most don’t know about. Some who were asked had no idea when or where it started and one even believed the holiday was started by the candy companies to increase sales. Senior Andrew Boyd knows only that, “It has something to do with a guy called St. Valentine”. He’s not wrong, as the holiday was named after this gentleman. St. Valentine became well known during the 3rd century in the Roman Empire. According to History.com, “When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men”. St. Valentine disagreed with this decision and continued to marry young lovers. This, in turn, lead to his execution. But to this day, families, couples, and friends celebrate around the country gifting chocolates, cards, and flowers to show our loved ones how much they mean to us.

When high school students look back on their elementary years, Valentine’s Day consisted of giving out candies to their classmates and making heart shaped crafts together. Celeste Wilhelm, a third grader at Centennial Elementary School, says she is very excited for Valentine’s Day. For her, February 14th is not a day for romance but a day to give and receive candy,  “We have a party in our class. We give candy to each other and put them in our baskets we made,” says Wilhelm. When she was asked if she had a Valentine, she gave an embarrassed grin but replied with a loud and prolonged “No”, obviously wanting to change the subject. Her brother Micah Wilhelm, a 7th grader at Washington Middle School, does Valentine’s Day a bit differently. Although he recalls doing similar things his sister is doing in elementary school, this year he is celebrating with his girlfriend. However, when he was asked if he was excited for this special day, he replies with, “I don’t know, it’s just not my holiday”. Junior Wu Merkurieff also feels unattached to this holiday, “I’m not excited for Valentine’s Day at all because I’m single,” he says with a laugh. “I usually go eat Panda Express or something,” he explains. A definite correlation between age and the fondness of Valentine’s Day begins to show as Boyd answers with the most unenthusiastic mood out of all the interviewees. He says, “I’m not excited for Valentine’s Day because I’m single and it doesn’t matter”. It seems that the older students get, the less positively they appear to think about about the 14th of February.

Valentine’s Day is something everyone can enjoy and celebrate whether they are in a relationship or single. If you decide on surprising your special someone or locking yourself in your room to cry and watch romcoms, do what makes you happy. Just remember that showing how much you love someone should be done everyday and not just once a year.

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