Thursday, February 16, 2017

Valentine’s Day and Other Useless Holidays

 by Emily Winningham

It’s no secret that almost every holiday has been worked into endless marketing ploys all wanting you to spend wasted money on their products for somewhat unnecessary traditions. For example: eggs for Easter. I enjoy the chocolate bunnies and Cadbury Eggs as much as the next person, but there’s no denying that these traditions take away from the point of the actual holiday. And then there’s just completely useless holidays that serve no purpose other than to give banks and schools the day off.

For one, why do we need one particular day to remind us to love our significant others? In my personal opinion, Valentine’s Day should stand as an extra day to show everyone our love and care. Not just as a day to show how wonderful your boyfriend is because he got you a bear that’s half your height. 

I don’t generally mind Valentine’s Day; any excuse to buy chocolates and things shaped like hearts and spread love is a good reason to celebrate. What I don’t like, however, is why this is expected on only one day a year. I would rather receive a bouquet of flowers because you were thinking about me and decided to buy me some, not because it’s Valentine’s Day and you felt required to buy them. 

This isn’t the only problem with Valentine’s Day. Singles seem directly targeted by media and society. It’s like being single is a bad thing to be and there’s something wrong with you just because you’re not in a relationship. When in all actuality there’s nothing wrong with not being in a relationship. No one likes to be targeted for their love life or lack thereof. And having Singles Awareness Day falling the day after Valentine’s Day is an even bigger joke and even more targeting is directed at those without a boyfriend or girlfriend. But all of the candy at stores is 50% off on this day, so some silver linings can be found.

Another pointless holiday would have to be Columbus Day. We observe the day that Christopher Columbus discovered America when in fact Christopher Columbus did not discover America. That’s right. It is believed that the Viking, Leif Erikson did, but we barely recognize Leif Erikson Day.
Groundhog Day is more of a confusingly useless holiday. It’s one of those holidays that makes you wonder how it started. I mean who decided that a groundhog could predict the weather and be correct? And why did this tradition stick anyway? I mean it’s the beginning of February. Unless you live in Texas where you only get a handful of actual wintry days, any place that experiences cold will probably stay that way until spring starts in March, regardless if the groundhog see its shadow or not.

And then there’s just the ridiculously random days like Talk Like a Pirate Day, where the only perk you get is a dozen free doughnuts at Krispy Kreme for dressing like a pirate. Or April Fools’ Day where you hope and pray no one covers your toilet seat or your car in saran wrap this year. 

No one cares much for these minor holidays other than to spend a few bucks on cheap merchandise or sweets. Everyone knows Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas or Hanukkah are the true holidays that matter in America, so let’s calm down on stressing importance on these other useless holidays and keep the focus on the things that truly matter.

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