There’s no denying that Valentines Day is now yet another tale of Christian-festival-turned-corporate-prostitute. When St Valentine was martyred by the Romans for being caught dealing out Christian weddings like crystal meth, I’m sure he never imagined that, in multi-millennia to come, his name would be commemorated with heart-shaped cushions and the Durex bumper box. Love and money are two very powerful things and companies certainly know how exploit the former to bring out the latter.
On top of this, speaking from previous experience, if you are single around Valentines Day, it is about as fun as it must be to be a Muslim during… the vast majority of any Western celebration. It is a time of year to feel sorry for yourself.
It is also very true that love should be an aspect of everyday life, not just concentrated onto a single day so you can detach yourself from romanticism for the rest of the year. Although, if that’s truly how you do it, then I’m truly impressed how dull your life must have become.
However, after all those reasons why Valentine’s Day is the Devil’s spawn, I feel that, very much like Christmas, it is what you make of the occasion. Whilst your love for your partner should be an aspect of everyday, it is not everyday that you have an opportunity to commemorate it. True, cards and gifts should not be needed in this celebration. However, myself and my girlfriend would find it hard to deny that giving each other presents is something we thoroughly enjoy and so we will relish any and every opportunity to do so.
None of these ‘Christian’ festivals are prioritised for the Biblical implications behind them anymore. First and foremost, Christmas is no longer a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Instead, it has evolved into a celebration of family: time to give your loved ones presents but also your presence. For children, it is undeniably about Father Christmas. Yes, Santa is the poster-boy for all shops and stores, but his myth is something that I thank for strengthening my imagination and sense of wander and that is a right for every child have: their are worse lies that parents can tell their children, come on. For Valentines, this is even less so about the story of St Valentine – it is commemorating your love for another person.
This is not the case for everyone and that is perfectly fine. It is simply that, in our case, excuses to give each other stuff is very much part of our lives and, consequently, we shall continue to embrace consumerism like a sponge and spoil each other with Valentines gifts, Easter Eggs and everything else Mother Corporate wishes us to buy. Yeah, we’re giving rich people more money, but we live in a world where we do that everyday anyway.
A self-proclaimed capitalist slave.