Column: Here it comes — the yearly Valentine’s Day controversy

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After a Valentine’s Day party for the Eagle Nation Online staff, candy and cards lay out on a desk. The staff does an elementary-school-style valentines exchange to preserve fun traditions. “I liked having this type of party,” photographer Gianna Galante said. “It reminds me of how fun Valentine’s Day parties were.”

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With the hype of Christmas and the New Year gone, we are left with just cold, rainy days at the start of the school year’s second semester. While spring break still weeks away, students look forward to a certain holiday that lands on Feb. 14, but others dread it. Here it comes — the yearly controversy of Valentine’s Day. 

In elementary school, Valentine’s Day was one of the parties during the year where we did nothing but pass out little handmade valentines and candy. Personally, I loved Valentine’s Day parties because I got to decorate my box and play games all day. Now, it seems like a competition to see whose boyfriend or girlfriend can spend the most money on flower boxes and jewelry, or who can have the best “Galentine’s” party. That’s all fine, but it feels like the holiday has turned away from true thoughtfulness to become all about what looks best on a Snapchat story. 

On the other side of things, single people may not give much thought to the holiday. But, some true haters of the holiday choose to celebrate SAD, or Singles Awareness Day, the day after Valentine’s Day. SAD traditions include people treating themselves with half-priced Valentine’s Day candy and throwing singles parties.

Nowadays and as we get older, Valentine’s Day feels like it has turned into singles vs. people in a relationship. In a relationship or not, people should remember to celebrate Valentine’s Day by appreciating and spending time with their family and friends, not just a significant other.

No matter the plans someone has on Feb. 14, there are many things they can do with all loved ones. Baking heart-shaped goods, making elementary-school-type cards for friends, having dinner over a FaceTime call for long-distance relationships, or even experiencing digital escape rooms are just some of the endless possibilities anyone can celebrate with on Valentine’s Day.

This Valentine’s Day, focus more on showing everyone love, not just showing off the cool gifts received. We can make this day fun again for everyone, single or not.