New perspectives to avoid commercialization temptations

Lisa Goudy
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I think I understand why some people dislike Valentine’s Day.

With Valentine’s Day come and gone yet again for another year, undoubtedly many people have spent a significant portion of money on gifts or something else special for their special someone. With everything now at discounted prices more money will be spent on gifts. The most common reason I hear people saying they don’t like Valentine’s Day is because it is a commercial holiday. This is not a lie.

In an age of capitalism, every holiday has become commercialized including Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and Halloween. From that point of view, knowing Valentine’s Day is simply a money grab, I can see why people might dislike it. Now that Valentine’s Day is over, all of the items are probably already on discounted prices.

Personally I’ve spent hardly anything for Valentine’s Day. Given, I have never been in a relationship when Valentine’s Day rolls around, but I doubt that will change when I get into a relationship with a guy.

We need to garner a new perspective on our relationships to help avoid the temptation of commercialization of everything in our entire lives before, after and during a holiday. Let’s face it. Commercialization draws away from the real meaning of a holiday, season or, in the case of Valentine’s Day, tries to invent a time of year to make people spend even more money.

Getting a new perspective can be tricky though. There is always the option of avoiding buying something before or after a holiday. That is an unreasonable request for many people. Besides if you were going to buy something, at least save yourself some money and buy it when it’s on sale. Asking people to totally avoid spending money is pointless. Gifts are about showing your appreciation for someone after all.

Allow me to give an example of a new perspective as it relates to Valentine’s Day. Two years ago today my group handed in a completed radio show as part of a journalism project. We worked hard to make our show the best it could be. Members of our group also spent most of the previous evening - yes, Valentine’s Day - putting on the final touches onto the radio show. Our theme was love.

Our show touched on the different aspects of love, including online dating, the psychological aspects of it, the different meanings of love and spending time with the people you love. We encompassed all points of view not just the typical commercialization of it.

I believe our show did a pretty good job of capturing what love is about. It was illuminating to think of the day as more than just what the market bills it. Those were new perspective. Spinning Valentine’s Day into new perspectives people wouldn’t have thought of is a way to remind people what it’s really about.

We can’t forget there are ways to avoid getting sucked into the commercialization of our holidays. If nothing else, use Valentine’s Day as a way to examine your relationship with loved ones. If it does nothing more than remind you you’re not spending enough time with them or showing you love them often enough, that’s fine. Just remember to act on it during the year.

Commercialization is inevitable in this age. That doesn’t mean we all have to become mindless shoppers consuming everything the market feeds us. Get a new perspective instead.

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