This Valentine’s Day, it’s the thought that counts

Kaitlyn Richardson, Feature Co-Editor

We’ve all seen it, the six foot stuffed bears, ten pound chocolate bars in your local department store, and fancy dinner dates on Feb. 14 each year. Girls compete to see whose significant other got them the nicest present or ordered them the biggest bouquet of roses.

All of this happens on Valentine’s Day, the day of love and appreciation, but instead of couples focusing on the celebration of their love, they put their energy into the public display of tangible objects so that they can feel better about the perception of their love from others. 

According to, the holiday of Valentine’s Day- as it is celebrated today- stems from both Christian and Roman tradition. The general concept revolves around “Saint Valentine” and the celebration of romance. 

In the Catholic Church, there are at least three different saints with names resembling “Valentine.”  When a Roman Emperor decided that men who were unwed made better soldiers, he outlawed young marriages. Saint Valentine chose to continue performing the marriages anyway and was eventually executed for that reason. 

 Similar to activists we see today, Saint Valentine refused to conform to something he found wrong. The fight for the rights for love is an ongoing one, and this was just the beginning. Love is definitely something worth fighting for. 

According to, the holiday spread to North America in the 1840s when a newspaper called “The Public Ledger” encouraged people to celebrate Valentine’s Day, saying people needed more time to focus on their soul’s desires and less time stressing over work. It is interesting how the focus on our soul’s desires has morphed into the importance of our material desires. 

The fact is, a significant other or close friend most likely wants more appreciation than a six foot stuffed bear, which will sit in the corner of their room until it makes a nice short trip to the Goodwill.

Displaying our affection through material goods, while coming from a genuine place, overall has less of an emotional impact than historically romantic gestures such as handwritten letters or memorable dates that you could someday tell your children about.

When you are taking the time to write out that letter or plan that date, you are putting more of a personal touch on your token of appreciation. As they say, it’s the thought that counts and more thought is needed to plan or write out your emotion or at least it will seem as though you put that extra amount of effort in for that special someone. Saint Valentine’s fight for love stood for much more than those items on the department store shelf.