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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

Valentine’s Day: A Hallmark scam

Valentine’s Day has become a well-known holiday around the world, associated with gifts, flowers, and hues of pink and red.

Vibrant colors of pink and red fill several aisles in stores as Valentine’s Day approaches. (Lauren Tran)

However, this is a commercialized depiction of the holiday’s authentic roots. What was once a holiday stemming from Christian and ancient Roman history is now one correlated with blatant consumerism.

“When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of romance and materialistic items, probably because that’s how companies and stores advertise that holiday to be. I don’t know much about the history itself, but I’m sure it’s very different from all of these artificial associations,” said Riya Sharda (‘25).

The true origins of Valentine’s Day are still a mystery, but most stories revolve around a Roman saint, named a variation of Valentine, who was murdered by Emperor Claudius II. The causes of the saint’s death vary. From performing secret marriages to heroic love stories, one thing is for certain—all of these legends contain a romantic figure. 

Evolution of Valentine’s Day

Through romanticized poems by Chaucer and Shakespeare, Valentine’s Day gained popularity, and people began to embrace the intimate holiday. Soon, newspapers picked up on the holiday’s customs, and the Valentine’s Day commercialization commenced.

Today, industries generate billions of dollars alone on Valentine’s Day sales. Though the holiday has deep roots, Valentine’s Day is now referred to as a traditional Hallmark Holiday.

“I think that it’s become super commercialized, especially for younger kids who can just buy small cards to candy in bulk. But I think it’s a super cute holiday to show your love to important people in your life,” said Sasha Gorrepati (‘24).

Industries have been promoting their items and services, building onto the misconception that Valentine’s Day is a purely consumerist holiday. For instance, Hallmark Valentine’s Day movies have become increasingly popular, usually starring couples and their romantic journey. 

Valentine’s Day has evolved tremendously over the years, becoming a popular holiday across the globe. (Lauren Tran)

“I see a lot of Valentine’s Day movies, but they’re all super hollow. Almost none of them relate to Valentine’s Day’s true origins.

They’re mainly about love and intimate gestures,” said Sharda.

Stores and shops around the world contribute to Valentine’s Day commercialization. With romantic, yet standard Valentine’s Day advertisements and pink and red decorations, stores hop onto the “traditional” holiday customs.

“We set up [for Valentine’s Day] towards the end of January. It’s been a tradition with [the Hallmark company], and a lot of people start getting ready [to buy] cards and gifts,” said a Hallmark employee.

Valentine’s Day Celebration

Valentine’s Day serves as a way to connect and bring people together. From Valentine’s Day spirit days to Galentine’s, Amador students find different ways to celebrate the holiday. “Normally my friends and I will have Galentine’s where we go on a picnic or have a cute potluck together. The spirit days are such a fun way to get into the Valentine’s Day mood, and the teachers have fun activities on the day as well,” said Gorrepati.

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