Written by Kristi Rolf
Just when we thought the holidays were over, February brings another celebration saturated with whimsical traditions and consumeristic fever. Valentine’s Day has a fraught reputation. Movies and books would have us believe that it is the most romantic day of the year, a day for expressions of true love. However, cynics claim that Valentine’s Day is a manipulative marketing ploy to encourage extravagant dining and exorbitant sales of chocolate, alcohol and jewelry. Individuals’ attitudes towards the holiday often change from year to year depending on their relationship status. Those with a partner are often excited for a day of romance, but the same people may dread the holiday when they find themselves single the following year. What if Valentine’s Day could mean more than romantic comedies and love songs make us believe? In the past decade, many women have begun observing a casual holiday dubbed Galentine’s Day. This holiday was created by the fictional television character Leslie Knope to be celebrated on February 13th in honor of female friendship. Galentine’s Day has started to expand what we commemorate in the name of Saint Valentine, but why stop here? There are so many kinds of love to celebrate. It’s time to start celebrating every kind of love: love between friends of all genders, love between family members, love for our furry friends, self-love, you name it! This Valentine’s Day, let’s focus on all the people we love to make this season more inclusive and joyful for all.