Valentine’s Day is a holiday that, despite what seems to be rapidly waning popularity in our collective consciousness, continues to thrive financially.

People decry the commercialisation of holidays, and while Christmas most definitely receives the high honour of first place, Valentine’s Day continues to draw both love and scorn from people. Once upon a time Valentine’s Day was adored, a time in which a simple gift of roses and a heart-shaped box was the pinnacle of romance. In recent years, due in large part to the dominance of social media, shows of love have become stunts of extravagance.

Expensive gifts

Holidays, cars, and wads of cash. All gifts I’ve seen online as a profession of love. This is of course not to say that one way of showing affection is more legitimate than another, as long as everyone’s on board. It does, however, bring me to a point a question; Is it all necessary?

Okay maybe no one is getting a boat like these people but you get my point.

In what I’m fully aware sounds rather unfortunately like bitter traditionalism, isn’t it better to simply make the day one of showing love and affection through simple acts of spending the day together doing something you wouldn’t normally do. Experiencing some fun or even slightly frightening day with your loved one (or several).

Valentine’s Day to me doesn’t even need to be a day of romantic love. If you’re sick of feeling under pressure to have a partner on Valentine’s Day maybe what you really need is a good friend to spend the day with.

For all my ravings I don’t think Valentine’s Day needs to be lived strictly one way or another to make it worthwhile, and I certainly don’t expect anyone to actually renew their love of cheesy simple gifts this year or denounce materialism. I mean if I was getting a car on Valentine’s Day you’re damn right I’d keep it, screw sentimentality.

Maybe instead though, we can spend this Valentine’s Day not shrieking about how not to do it, but instead simply enjoy the experience of the holiday, and to each their own.

Conor O’Doherty