Valentine’s Day – not just a Hallmark holiday

Valentine’s Day has a notorious reputation as the holiday invented to make money.

The National Retail Federation predicted $15.7 billion will be spent on Valentine’s Day sales nationwide, an 11 percent increase from last year. And in our consumer-driven economy, college students feel the pressure to spend a lot of money on their significant other for Valentine’s Day.

But let’s face it, many students don’t have an extra $50 to spend on flowers, gifts and candy.

I also think many people overlook the fact that this day doesn’t have to be about how much you spend or what gifts you receive.

Students can have a great Valentine’s Day without spending a lot of money. A simple card or cardboard heart cutout can make a big statement. Homemade crafts from the heart can mean a lot and are often kept for many years.

This holiday can make people feel rich simply by spending quality time with the people they love.

If you are a person who loves to bake, make a cake with a loved one. If you enjoy board games, get together with friends and play Scrabble. This day is a great chance to show others your skills and interests while showing them you care.

Love it or hate it; choose love.

People either choose to love or hate Valentine’s Day. This love-or-hate mentality is usually based on past experiences, opinions about love and dating, and current relationship status.

There have been years I haven’t had a boyfriend or an event to attend. Instead I ended up wasting the day on the couch feeling bad for myself, buying into what others and the media said Valentine’s Day should be. Now I realize it is all about what you make it out to be.

So why do people decide to dislike a day that is all about hearts, flowers and candy when they don’t have to?

People should look at this day as an opportunity to show their gratitude for people they care about. I have made a commitment to appreciate the day for what it can be. Ultimately, it is up to you to make it a good one.

Ariel Kendall can be reached at

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