Point/Counterpoint: Is Valentine’s Day Worth It?


Kristen Thompson, Editor-in-Chief, Online; Emma Hartman Sumrall, Sports Editor

“Even if we do not have a romantic day, February 14 still gives us an opportunity to think about all of the things in our lives that we love and appreciate.”

   Kristen Thompson, Editor-in-Chief, Online

  How ironic is it that the most hated day of the year is the one that celebrates love?

   Valentine’s Day is a holiday that allows us to spoil those closest to us. Whether it’s showering a boyfriend with his favorite candies, gifting a girlfriend a beautiful bouquet of flowers or simply giving your dog extra treats, Valentine’s Day lets us shamelessly spread love. And for all the single people out there, weeks’ worth of discounted chocolates go on sale on February 15.

   The first two weeks of February leading up to the 14th allow for people to plan their perfect Valentine’s celebration. People write poems, describing their lover in ways that no one else could. Other people plan special dinners, whether at their favorite restaurant or cooked with love in their kitchen. Some may even be in the jewelry store, looking for the perfect rock for their lover’s ring finger, to present them with on that special day.

   Valentine’s Day allows people to spend some quality time thinking about those in their life who they love the most and show how much they appreciate them.

   Love is not always an easy emotion to express. Sometimes, it’s hard to recognize that it’s there. But we know that love is real because of the way that we love others. Or, at least, that logic is true for me. I believe in love because of the way I love and I cannot wait to share that with someone else one day.

   Single people may struggle to find the happiness and love in Valentine’s day. But this holiday gives them a chance to appreciate being single. For example, you can buy all of your friends small, meaningful gifts rather than saving all of your money on one big thing for one person. You can take your friends on a fun night out and go bowling or grab milkshakes among the many couples in the same room. Spending time together is what love is all about.

   Valentine’s Day can serve as a time for single people to actually appreciate the fact that they are single. Instead of having to spend money and put thought and effort into someone else’s satisfaction, people who are single can use that same money to show some self-love. There is nothing wrong with buying yourself a bouquet of roses or spending a little extra money on items that bring you happiness. Everyone deserves to treat themselves every now and then.

   As for those who are in loving, happy relationships, good for you! Valentine’s Day is another time to show how in love and affectionate you two are. Anytime spent with that one special person is a blessing. Valentine’s Day makes couples even more grateful for that time they get together.

   While I, personally, have yet to spend Valentine’s Day with someone special, I see how happy and in love other couples are. Witnessing that makes me excited for when that time comes for me.

   This year, I hope to spend Valentine’s Day in any way but alone. Whether I do spend the holiday with that one special someone or with my closest friends, I will be grateful to feel the love in the air.

   Love is all around us, even if it is not in a romantic setting. Love is found in the funny stories shared with our friends. Love is found in the car rides with our families. Love is found in the playtime we spend with our four-legged friends. Love is found in the relaxing spa days we treat ourselves to. Love is real and it is out there to be found by all of us.

   Valentine’s Day is a holiday that we should all be excited about. Even if we do not have a romantic day, February 14 still gives us an opportunity to think about all of the things in our lives that we love and appreciate. Hopefully, more people shift their perspective instead of being a Valentine’s Grinch.


“The whole thing is a huge money-grabbing scam designed to rewrite the rules of love to suit corporate profits.”

   Emma Hartman Sumrall, Sports Editor

  Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest money grabbing holidays celebrated in the U.S. As soon as Christmas is over, the Valentines decorations come out. There are aisles of cheap candy, fluffy stuffed animals and ridiculous cards. It’s all vaguely ridiculous and overdone. The whole thing is a huge money-grabbing scam designed to rewrite the rules of love to suit corporate profits. Large scale corporations twist the value of love to demean it. In their eyes, the only way to prove you love someone is to buy them a bunch of crap they’ll never use ever again.

   Recently, people have been trying to change Valentine’s Day into a holiday for all kinds of love, not just romantic. This could honestly go either way. On the one hand, it can be really sweet to have a holiday that celebrates all of the valued people in one’s life. On the other, it’s another way for corporate greed to distort reality into placing value on valueless gestures, except this time on a larger scale and a bigger demographic.

   Corporations aren’t even doing a decent job at reaching complete and total consumerism. Large scale corporations like to focus on romantic heteronormative celebrations of the holidays, completely overlooking queer and platonic relationships. These are grossly underestimated demographics, without whom they are not making nearly as much money as they could be. If Valentine’s Day was marketed more towards these relationships, the holiday might actually be more enjoyable due to the lack of heteronormative propaganda shoved down our throats.

   Most small businesses are also ahead in this game, which makes it nicer to shop and enjoy yourself because you aren’t surrounded with obnoxiously overpriced and ridiculous looking useless presents. These products more often suit a larger demographic. But in a town like Gulf Breeze where corporations and store chains reign, it can be hard to find appropriate gifts, leading many to choose the lazy way out.

   Small businesses can also attract business with Valentine’s Day deals, which can garner them more business in the future. But small businesses can also be expensive, and it can be hard to afford nice things from those places. Chain stores make it easier and more time efficient to buy things, and in a world where time is money, they make it awfully convenient.

   But most people don’t want cheesy presents; they just want to spend time with the people they love like any other holiday.

   That’s not to say that a box of cheap chocolates and a small bouquet aren’t appreciated every once in a while. But the important thing is to spend time with your loved ones and to enjoy yourselves. As long as you place emphasis on what really matters, Valentine’s Day can’t be all bad.

   Unfortunately, the huge emphasis that everyone places on gift giving during this holiday destroys that ability. It takes a lot of trust to know that someone still loves you despite the lack of money that they spent on you because of the continually reinforced idea that money equals love, when it does in fact not.