By: The Ginger Project
The month of love is upon us. February, the month that is peppered with gross dark chocolates, mushy love stuff galore and sale ads for expensive “V-Day” gifts. All in honor of love, and the celebration of St. Valentine who was a saint who had nothing to do with love, and just happened to be beheaded on February 14th, 270 AD.
Valentine’s Day is not really much of a day to celebrate to me and it is not a celebration I push onto my boys. It doesn’t actually represent anything in history and Mr. Valentine’s name is being used for a purpose he probably wouldn’t appreciate (being a saint and all). It falls into the category of Columbus Day to me; I’m sorry who and what are we giving recognition to? Like, Columbus didn’t even discover America and he was actually a pretty bad dude. But that is a different blog piece for a different month.
February 14th has morphed from just heart shaped candies exchanged between lovers to an entire month of lavish dates, gifts and even big parties in elementary classrooms with parent’s matchmaking their kids with special valentines. I know, I know, throw all the NOT ALL at me; of course not everyone does this, but quite a lot do. I could honestly care less what other adults do if the over the top activities were appreciated by the couples participating in them. However, the heavily marketed “don’t be left out on Valentine’s Day” undertone has perpetuated a use em’ and lose em’ culture centered around this one month to get gifts to brag about on Instagram. What is supposed to be a celebration of love, leaves a trail of tears come the 15th of February. Why would anyone want to teach this to their kids? I realize it isn’t being taught on purpose for the most part, but by continuing these so-called traditions, our kids are indeed learning this behavior.
Ever since I was a kid and even reflecting on it now as an adult; what message does the Valentine industry send out? That only the pretty girls are worthy of the candy and the gifts? That only the boys with money to buy the candies and gifts will be accepted as a valentine? Whether the majority are willing to admit that to themselves; this is exactly the message of Valentine’s Day. It is shallow, classiest, and abhorrent behavior.
If my boys choose to participate in exchanging the little valentine cards, I will let them, but I won’t force them or force them to sit through a silly valentine party in their classrooms if they would rather not participate. As they get older, I will teach them it is merely a manufactured holiday to sell stuff, which is exactly what it has become. I highly doubt there was any celebration of love the day Mr. Valentine was beheaded.
There are numerous ways to show those we care about that we have feels for them. Pink and red themed trinkets are not necessary.