Chocolates, sweets, cards and flowers are often considered the staples of Valentine’s Day. Forbes reported that the average American spends $143.56 on the day of love. This may not seem like much but it adds up to annual spending of over $19 billion.
Valentine’s Day is considered a marketing holiday, directing the public to shower their significant other with material affections. Social media only encourages this idea.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what gifts really mean in every giving season we come to - be it Christmas, birthdays or commercial holidays such as Valentine’s Day. Symbolism is ever present in human society although we are not always conscious of it.
Giving a gift that sparkles and shines but is never really worn seems like a waste. There is already a trend of giving something more eco-friendly. In the age of commercialism, the counterculture of fair-trade consumerism is slowly emerging. People want to know where their products are coming from and where their money is going when they support companies.
Symbolic gifts are arguably far stronger than simple material trinkets. What something means is often far more important than the item itself. Symbolic gifts are also, in a way, unique. When I give an item, often I will attach my own interpretation and meaning while you would have an entirely different interpretation.
The great thing about trees is that, like symbolism, their presence and impact has been ingrained into us over millennia. Gifting a tree not only satisfies the urge to give but also the symbolic and environmental drive within us.
A tree can have so many meanings as a gift. They are long-lasting, they help the environment, they don’t add clutter to you life and they have thousands of different spiritual and cultural connotations.
When you gift a tree, you can represent so many different symbols and meanings within a single gift.
Every year, 95 million families in America put up a Christmas tree and people are debating the positives and negatives of a real vs. fake Christmas tree.