Valentine’s Day is a chance to express appreciation for loved ones

Valentine’s Day isn’t just a holiday for couples, it’s a holiday for celebrating love, whether that be love for your family, friends, pets, school or community. Some may say that Valentine’s Day is only fun and enjoyable when in a relationship, but it’s important to remember that romantic love isn’t the only love you can celebrate.

Shideh Ghandeharizadeh | Daily Trojan

My parents would always get me presents for Valentine’s Day and give me an extra hug or a kiss that day, in celebration of the love we share as family. It was the same thing with my grandparents. Celebrating love doesn’t happen a lot, especially in a modern world more focused on current events and business and so often characterized  by hate.

Valentine’s Day is a holiday for people of all races, genders, sexual orientations and social classes; it doesn’t exclude or discriminate. This holiday is a reminder that there is love in the world to be spread and shared with others. It’s a day to show those you love that you acknowledge their love and respect for you, and that you want to reciprocate it. I love Valentine’s Day because I feel fulfilled seeing my family happy and spreading love and positivity. Sometimes it can be hard for people to come to terms with not having a significant other, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t loved or cherished.

Another thing I love about Valentine’s Day is the spirit of community it promotes. In elementary school, we used to exchange Valentine cards and candy. It wasn’t about who we had a crush on or who our friends were, it was about making someone feel special. Getting someone a gift or even just telling them you care can be monumental in making them feel special and appreciated.

In the spirit of community, Valentine’s Day creates bonds between single people. They have their own parties and get each other gifts, celebrating each other and the holiday in doing so. Leslie Knope, a character played by Amy Poehler on Parks and Recreation, created Galentine’s Day, a Feb. 13 holiday on which “ladies celebrate ladies.”

Valentine’s Day doesn’t just promote the love couples have for each other, but is about celebrating and loving the important people in your life. People criticize it for developing into a materialistic, Hallmark-dominated holiday, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a day to cherish loved ones and bring together those who mean the most to you.