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Published February 12th, 2014
Why Not Every Day?
By Youngjoo Ahn
Youngjoo Ahn is a senior at Miramonte High School. In her free time she hosts Express Yourself!(r) Teen Radio, enjoys volunteering, and reads voraciously.

The romantic nature of Valentine's Day began with Chaucer and Shakespeare even though the disputed existence of St. Valentine occurred years earlier. Valentine's greetings were popular in the Middle Ages but the real market for ready-made cards began in 1913 with the creation of Hallmark.
Today, although Valentine's Day is touted as being a day celebrating love, in my opinion it is really only about mass commercialism. Last year sales on Valentine's Day reached $17.6 billion. Storefronts to mobile games to children's books encourage consumption with pink and red heart decorations and generic sayings of affection. Sweethearts feel obligated to buy flowers, chocolates, or jewelry to express their love.
The only people who win on Valentine's Day are the owners of companies that benefit from a shopping populace. Instead of cherishing loved ones, Valentine's Day has added a price tag to love. This so-called holiday pressures people to buy gifts for those they care about.
"I think Valentine's Day is a corporate plot to allow companies to make billions of dollars. I'm not against it because love is to be celebrated. It just doesn't need all the chocolate and flowers that people associate with it," senior Ruwan Thilakaratne said. "Show someone you genuinely care about them by writing a letter or spending the day with them."
"I think Valentine's Day is a very commercialized holiday that's only celebrated to make money. It's only really fun for little kids and couples," senior Devin Mottier said. "There shouldn't have to be a specific day to tell somebody you love them. That's something that should be expressed without a holiday coaxing it out of you."
Because Valentine's Day has become so commercialized, it often ostracizes those who do not receive flowers and gifts. Being single shouldn't make you feel lonely and depressed yet the anti-Valentine's Day, called Single's Awareness Day, or "SAD," has arisen.
"Valentine's Day is a unique holiday where I eat a lot of candy and reevaluate my life as a loner. As a guy, I feel pressured to buy something on Valentine's Day. If a person is in a relationship, it is mandatory to spend on this holiday," sophomore Scott Wu said.
Valentine's Day has lost its meaning because of commercialization. There doesn't need to be a holiday celebrating love, especially when celebrating love consists of the obligation to go on a shopping spree. To me, every day is a time to cherish loved ones, showing them how special they are to me without the added expense of chocolate, flowers, and jewelry.

Teen Scene is YOUR voice. If you have something to say or have writing skills and want to be part of our Teen Scene team, email our Teen Coach, Cynthia Brian, Cynthia@CynthiaBrian.com.
The opinions expressed in Teen Scene are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Lamorinda Weekly.

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