True love or big corporate affairs?

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True love or big corporate affairs?

Jane McCauley, News Editor

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From shoe boxes that you decorated with frilled pink and red tissue paper in elementary school to a dozen roses and boxes of chocolates that couples give to each other, Valentine’s Day has always been a day of full hearts and happy smiles that make people feel loved.

Yet for as long as Valentine’s Day and other holidays have been around, big corporations have turned the holidays into sucking the money out of people’s pockets. This only makes the consumers delusional. They think they’re spending their money for the happiness the product will bring, when  in reality they’re really being robbed by the business they’re buying from.

Big companies have one thing in mind- making money, and if they’ve already made some, then they go out and create new marketing techniques to make some more. Tricking their customers is a big companies best skill.

According to a Feb. 2018 article in CNBC by Zameena Mejia, America spent $19.6 billion dollars last Valentine’s Day.

It’s sad to think this. Most people, me included, used to think that Valentine’s Day was a day dedicated to showing others how much you care about them through small gestures. It was full of people telling their feelings for others and cupid shooting arrows full of hearts to bring people together.

February 14 was born in the middle ages when ancient Roman Emperor Claudius II executed two men named Valentine who were later recognized for their death by the Catholic Church. It was later made into a holiday and romanticized by famous writers like Shakespeare.

Now when you think of Valentine’s Day, it’s all about how big and expensive your gift is compared to the previous year.

The people that buy the gifts feel pressure from their significant other to outdo what they bought the previous year, so they end up spending more every year. Starting from a box of chocolates to a large romantic gesture like a trip to Hawaii, they eventually spend excessive amounts of money.

The people who benefit from these gifts aren’t the people that recieve them. It’s the companies that you buy them from. Most likely the giant teddy bear you get will sit in your closet collecting dust, and the box of chocolates that has flavors you don’t like will sit around while big corporate companies like Hallmark gain $6.5 billion every year.

That means 144 million cards are exchanged every year on the fourteenth, and of all the corrupted businesses that steal on Valentine’s Day, Hallmark is at the top of the list. The giving of cards was started by card companies just trying to make more money between Christmas and Easter.

According to statistics by CNN in 2018, other businesses like jewelry companies such as Zales and Shane Co. have made $4.7 billion. In total, the average consumer will spend $143.56 on Valentine’s Day gifts too.

On top of that, almost $1 billion will be taken from consumers by scammers on the internet. These scams and over-commercializations of the holiday suppress the true meaning of Valentine’s Day and take away the true love that it should be.

February 14 should be a day to use words and actions to make the people you care about feel loved. And if you did happen to spend a little on gifts, don’t go crazy because if the other person really loves you, it won’t matter to them what you bought or how much it was: it’s the thought that counts.

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