The question has been posed: If you were to take over a holiday, which holiday would you choose and why?
If I were to become the benevolent dictator over a holiday, I would choose what is probably America’s least favorite holiday: Valentine’s Day.
It is despised by the single as a reminder of another year of rejection. It is despised by those who are dating as a day to literally pay a tribute to one’s partner. It is despised by everyone else as a nauseating festival of candy hearts and cupids. I would imagine that the only folks who do not despise Valentine’s Day are the manufacturers of candy hearts and greeting cards.
So, as the ruthless dictator of Valentine’s Day, I would first do away with the gift-giving obligation. Cards, candy, jewelry? Save it for your sweetheart’s birthday. Or… don’t. Surprise that person any other day of the year.
Now, you may be asking, how shall we celebrate romance, love, and companionship, if not by spending money upon one another?
As the Supreme Overlord of Valentine’s Day, I would model the festivities on the Chinese Lantern Festival. This was traditionally a day for young people to look for love, and for older people to act as chaperones and matchmakers. I would make Valentine’s Day into a day for couples not to lord it over the singles, but to attempt to bring them together. Friends arranging for other friends to meet. A day of introductions and beginnings.
Obviously, this could lead to many people experiencing feelings of failure and rejection if they don’t experience Love at First Sight™ followed by a one-night stand and walk of shame. This will not be that kind of holiday. We have plenty of those already. The new Valentine’s Day will only be about making the attempt. If two people meet and talk, that’s enough. Whether they decide to meet again or go their separate ways is not important. If they decide to continue as romantic interest or as friends is not important. The important thing is the attempt.