The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

Valentine’s Day- Why have love when you can have consumerism?

Ah, Valentine’s Day: The day of love, expensive gifts and dinner reservations.  

The holiday has gone through many changes over the past 2,000 years. It started as a Catholic feast day to commemorate a Roman priest. Then it was mentioned in a 15th-century poem declaring it as the day birds found their mates. William Shakespeare even mentioned the day in “Hamlet” as a day for love. Subsequently, lovers began using the day to send notes to their beloved.  

Like most commercialized holidays, Valentine’s Day was popularized worldwide in the early 20th century.  

Ready-made cards first began being produced in 1900. According to Hallmark, 145 million Valentine’s cards are sent every year. This is the second biggest card holiday of the year, behind only Christmas.  

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The commercialization of this day waters down the intent entirely. The day is supposed to be about cherishing the people you love, but it has turned into a day marked by absurd spending.  

In their annual consumer spending survey, the National Retail Federation said in 2023 Americans spent around $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day presents and festivities. The average spent per person is over $190.  

While it can be nice to spend one day celebrating, why should you hoard all your love for one day and not give the same effort throughout the entire year? Instead of spending over $100, here are some ideas for high schoolers. 

Quality time is the best way to show someone you care for them. On Valentine’s Day, consider doing just that, at the many places around Omaha you can visit. 

With an Omaha Public Library card, you can get free passes to places like the Durham Museum , the Henry Doorly Zoo, and even Fontenelle Forest. With this nice weather, it is the perfect time to spend time outdoors with your loved ones. 

Another idea is just a date day around the city. Valentine’s Day is on a weekday, so move it to the weekend. Go for breakfast; Harold’s Koffee House is a very cheap but very delicious option. Then, make your way to the Old Market and walk around and visit shops to browse everything downtown Omaha has to offer.  

If you are looking to stay in and save some money, make dinner and dessert together. It is cheaper to buy the ingredients and cook at home than to order in or go out. And it’s more intimate and romantic! 

If you do want to go out to dinner, consider fast food. Get ready like you are going to a five-star restaurant and make your way to places like McDonald’s or Burger King. This can make the occasion much more special, even if you are eating chicken nuggets and not $40 steak.  

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About the Contributor
Grace Sunseri, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Grace Sunseri (she/her), and I am a Sophomore. I was voted most likely by the staff to become a conspiracy theorist. Outside of school, I enjoy golfing, traveling, and reading. I am also an avid cat lady and have 4 at home.
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