I have some thoughts and I might be a little ranty. Just so you know.
So, Valentines Day. Present incarnation. I know that there’s history there, but it’s specifically not relevant to my point here. What I want to talk about is that as with any public holiday or celebration, it’s not *all* consumerism and commercialisation.
Does Valentines Day in the present day involve a great deal of societal manipulation, gross over commercialisation and encouragement toward consumerism? Absolutely. So do most public events/holidays/celebrations. We seem to be able to navigate those just fine in a ‘live and let live’ manner.
I want to mention a few reasons why I think that celebrating (in your own way) Valentines Day can be genuine, rather than simply shallow and unworthwhile.
I tend to think, that in society, we don’t teach people how to have relationships and nor do we teach people to communicate. However, we have high expectations of people for both these things, and I think that any instance where it has been signaled to demonstrate care, love, affection and commitment is on that basis, actually rather important.
It doesn’t for a second suggest that it’s the only time love and affection can be (or should be) demonstrated to one’s partner(s) or other loved ones. It is an opportunity to make a specific point of it.
I’m an extremely loving person. I spend a very significant portion of my time demonstrating my love for the people in my life. So in another approach to a genuine celebration of something like Valentines Day, I asked myself a simple question:
Would I take any opportunity to show love/care/affection/value/commitment to those I care about?
The answer for me is (and will be unsuprising for those whom know me): Am I breathing? Well… yes.
So, are all celebrations done with such thoughtfulness and intent? Of course not, but deliberate or not, people are being thoughtful toward their significant other(s). Either way: there is more opportunity for love.
I don’t think that this is a bad thing. I can certainly ignore the commercial aspects just fine and I’ve confidence that for those whom such things are important, that they could work around the consumerist drive as well.
I actually wonder how much of the objection comes down to the fact that it isn’t ‘cool’ to show love or some such? How much of it is our expectation that emotions are allowed only in narrow bands of experience and situational appropriateness?
Find what works for you and by all means continue to not celebrate if you wish… but maybe it’s worthwhile reconsidering. You could enjoy celebrating a relationhip you value, either with another person, or yourself. The person you’re in a relationship with for your entire life. You could probably use some love too.