Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day of love, yet it is seemingly filled with and dominated by complaints of single people, married people, and really anyone that isn’t a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic. Although Feb. 14 was originally named after St. Valentine, it has come to bear nicknames like “Single Awareness Day” or “The Hallmark Holiday” as it has become less about love and more about the traditions surrounding the holiday that many people have come to dislike.

About mid-way through the month of January, signs of Valentine’s Day start to appear. By the time February rolls around, pink, red, and white are seemingly everywhere — filling the shelves in stores, lining the walls in schools, and filling up ads online. Stores like Safeway and Walgreens start selling every cliché gift available: singing teddy bears, heart-shaped dove chocolates, exuberant flowers, even “I Love You” pillows.

For many single people out there, these items serve as reminders of all the gifts that they won’t be receiving (or giving) this year. For people that do have a significant other to share the day with, they see  these items as expensive, meaningless gifts that people are forced into buying by social standards. They see Valentine’s Day as a holiday created by companies like Hallmark to pressure consumers to spend money on meaningless gifts and expensive meals. Many couples hate Valentine’s Day because they feel pressured to do something special, even when neither of them want that.

Yes, all of these things can be annoying and overwhelming, but many people forget what this day is supposed to be all about: love! “Love” doesn’t always have to be for a significant other in a romantic way; it can be love for a parent, child, friend, or even a pet. I see Valentine’s Day as a day to celebrate all the “love” in life, instead of dwelling on the
lack thereof.

Yes, you won’t be receiving that teddy bear from your crush, but you will get to buy your best friend some chocolates to brighten up her day. And if you’re someone that just doesn’t want to make the day a big deal, that’s fine too. There’s no reason to hate a holiday simply because you don’t want to celebrate it. I believe that in a world where so many other bad things happen, it is a shame that so many people spend Valentine’s Day complaining about what they don’t have, instead of cherishing what they do have.