Valentine’s Day – About Love, Or Just Commercialism?
Approximately six weeks after the beginning of each new year, one day is set aside for couples to declare their love for each other. Originally known as St. Valentines Day, we now celebrate Valentine’s Day in much the same way as we have often come to commemorate and celebrate many other holidays. For this holiday, as has also occurred for such holidays as Christmas and to a lesser degree Easter, the solemn expression of devotion has yielded most of its “power” to the commercial exploitation of that feeling.
If someone truly loves another, is there really, or should there really be the need to have one day to celebrate that love? What began as a small romantic idea, has become a major industry.
Restaurants enjoy some of their best business in celebration of that holiday. Bakeries bake dedicated cakes, cookies and pastries in shapes such as hearts, cupids, etc. It is one of the best greeting card holidays, because while people will often send E-Cards instead of birthday or holiday/ Seasons Greetings cards, it is not considered “romantic” to send a Valentine’s Day E-Card.
Florists get a much needed influx of business during a somewhat off season in the dead of winter. Obviously, there are more roses sold during this period than all other times of the year, often at substantially marked up prices. Somehow, because many years ago, some smart marketer thought of the clever idea of creating heart or flower shaped boxes, for many “romantics,” chocolate has become the gift of choice.
Perhaps no industry has been as big a beneficiary of this holiday’s increased commercial appeal than is the jewelry business. Statistically, more men propose on Valentine’s Day than any other day of the year, and thus there is a substantial influx in the number of diamonds sold. A recent walk through the mall showed a huge line of men waiting to purchase something from “Pandora,” because this brand has so actively connected both its name and its product line with romance. The jewelry chain, “Kay’s,” even runs an advertisement all year, and has coined a slogan that “Every kiss begins with Kay.”
In our fast paced, guilt prone, society, where many of us do not spend a sufficient amount of time telling those that we love how much we care, or get some “caught up” with our many day to day activities and commitments for our time, is there no wonder that a “small” holiday dedicated to a loved one, become a major commercial vehicle? Maybe not only in America, but certainly predominantly here!