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Hallmark’s heyday

By Emma Craine

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By Emma Craine | Managing Editor 

February 13, 2012

I have been increasingly annoyed by the gag-worthy commercialism that is spit out in stores leading up to Valentine’s Day.

As we approach this candy-eating, flower-giving, card-making romantic holiday, my recent adventures to certain convenience stores, such as CVS and Albertsons, have me all pent up on this alleged “lovers holiday.”

Not many people can walk into a store before Valentine’s Day and not be overwhelmed by the excessive pink and red colors that cover the entire store.

It is this type of commercialism that makes people feel like they have to contribute in one way or another to this ridiculous holiday.

I must confess first and foremost before explaining my recent annoyances that I have a certain level of appreciation for romanticism in life.

I “ooohhh” and “awwwhhh” the same as anybody else when a guy courts a girl in an especially gentlemanly or romantic way.

I also swoon and have the potential of fainting when watching a romantic comedy.

However, I don’t like in any shape or form the commercialized portrayal that companies think love is supposed to look like around Valentine’s Day.

And furthermore, I don’t understand why Valentine’s Day is even a national holiday.

To me, a holiday is a special day in which a country commends a historic moment or situation in order to shed light on its greatness or give unique recognition to a person such as Martin Luther King Jr.

In order to gain a greater understanding of how all this hype about chocolates and roses began, I took it upon myself to investigate how Valentine’s Day became an official holiday.

Attempting to mock the traditional searching techniques that many Americans do, I turned to the first link that popped up on google and naturally found the notorious Wikipedia.

While I fully recognize Wikipedia is not the most reputable source on the internet, I found it fitting to my circumstances in trying to understand the gist of how most Americans think Valentine’s Day initially began.

According to Wikipedia, “St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints.”

It claims that Valentine’s Day was originally pertaining to formal public worship of an especially famous Christian named Saint Valentine.

In other words, Valentine’s Day originated from worshiping an ancient religious saint.

He ended up dying in jail, by the way.

This bit of information is quite interesting to me because it seems as though the traditional Valentine’s Day celebrated by Americans has nothing to due with its origin.

America is supposed to be a religiously free country, which brings up the question once again of why the majority of the country recognizes February 14 as a holiday.

I am in no way suggesting that American’s religious freedom is being taken away or threatened by the sheer existence of this holiday, but I do find it curious that the majority of the country–both Christian and non-Christian–celebrate a holiday of which they know none of it’s religious-based origin.

Each year on the infamous “Singles-Awareness Day,” people blindly plan parties, buy expensive gifts, eat loads of chocolate, and hug teddy bears simply because it is what tradition tells them they should do.

To be clear, I have no issue with the large amount of gentlemanly gifts that girls are adorned with from their special someone.

If a guy were to buy me a load of roses and serenade me through the hallways with a unique musical number playing in the background, I would have absolutely no objections.

I will not scorn or give dirty looks to those who will be walking around with a huge smile to match their equally-as-large chocolate-scented teddy bear.

I do, however, cringe in the department stores when I see the excessive array of Valentines-themed candy and red and pink balloons when all I want to find is some normal colored M&Ms.

So when Valentine’s Day finally comes pounding at the door, I’m sure many of you will be battling the urge to feel excited about what this romantic day will entail.

Some of you will be going through the old “he loves me, he loves me not” serenade.

When this nitpicks at your brain, just remember that love has no boundaries and should not defined by what the television or grocery store say it is supposed to be.

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Hallmark’s heyday