OPINION | Valentine’s Day is for everyone

Phoebe Hurwitz, Staff Writer

Valentine’s Day is a day for appreciation and gratitude, and not just the romantic kind. (Gabe Darley | Senior Staff Artist)

From Oct. 31 through Jan. 1, holiday enthusiasts ride the high of costume designing, party planning, gift giving, meal prepping and house decorating. But, every year, when the clock strikes midnight of Dec. 31 and the nation rings in a new year, the holiday high reaches its sharp apex, a steep downhill ahead. The lucky ones among us perhaps have a January birthday celebration to look forward to, but for everyone else, Jan. 1 signals a long, cold month void of family vacations and lively celebrations. On Feb. 2, if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow and predicts six more weeks of winter, listless Americans search eagerly for something to celebrate. 

Valentine’s Day, marketed as the holiday for doting couples and excessive chocolate consumption, remains largely uncredited for pacifying the January Blues. Although it is prone to criticism from cynical singles or burned-out couples, Valentine’s Day is, in whatever capacity, an opportunity for everyone to disrupt their monotonous routine. 

For freshly blossoming romance, Valentine’s Day provides the perfect opportunity to delve into one’s relationship and indulge in the endless engagement of new love. For matured and long-standing lovers, Valentine’s Day re-introduces a flare that has perhaps fizzled. Galentine’s Day — a spin-off of traditional couple activities for groups of girl friends has become a popular excuse for single friends to celebrate the holiday despite their lack of a significant other. Even for singles that don’t want to participate in the conventional way, Valentine’s Day is a chance for them to exercise their freedom of speech to shame bragging lovebirds and the consumerist underpinnings of the holiday. In other words, despite appearances, Valentine’s Day has something for everyone! 

Not only is Valentine’s Day an opportunity for celebration, but what better to celebrate than gratitude for loved ones. Valentine’s Day deserves to be celebrated even moreso this year because it emphasizes one of the intimate aspects of our being that has persevered through social distancing and lockdowns. 

During these times, while we are all separated from loved ones, Valentine’s Day serves as the perfect reminder for us to appreciate those people in our lives that we most care about. Whether our form of affection is virtual or in socially distanced and COVID-19-friendly gatherings, demonstration of love is particularly important. Regardless of the reason for celebration, it is celebration nonetheless, and we all deserve to have something worth celebrating.

Tulane sophomore Jaime Sierens, not currently in a relationship, says, “I understand why people are often cynical of Valentine’s Day, it can definitely be frustrating to feel like you don’t fit the criteria for celebrating a certain holiday.” Sierens continues, however, that  “Valentine’s Day is especially important this year and reminds us that we should never waste time fighting over the little things because we never know what will keep us separated from our loved ones.” As Sierens’ sentiment articulates, we are unable to anticipate everything, therefore we should relish in the present moment with the people that make it meaningful. 

In the spirit of love, let us all appreciate the things which we have perhaps forgotten. Without something to celebrate, without something to love: where would we be now?