Pro: Day is perfect time to acknowledge love

Valentine's Day is a special day for Cheri Smith and the other women and girls in her family.

It's her husband of 37 years, Dave Smith, 63, who makes Valentine's Day memorable.

"He buys my mom and his mom, his widowed sister, our daughters and granddaughter hearts, too," Cheri, a 56-year-old homemaker, wrote on Facebook.

"I can't explain how much it means to them. It makes me feel so blessed, too. It's not the candy, flowers or cards, it's being thought of and remembered.

"The last time he got my mom a heart, she cried. My father had passed away and that gesture meant so much to her," Smith, who lives in Victoria with her husband, said.

The expression of valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written valentines didn't begin to appear until after 1400, according to history.com.

The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Writing in Psychology Today, Bill Doherty, a professor of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota and a marriage and family therapist, indicated Valentine's Day traditions may not be a bad thing.

"If you really like Valentine's Day and it is an important ritual to you and your mate, go for it," Doherty wrote.

"Do it up big as a special occasion ritual. I know a man who makes a Valentine's reservation months in advance for a favorite romantic restaurant.

"Another couple goes away for a weekend near Valentine's Day. When I hear these things, I feel a little envious of people who don't let the superficiality of the day get in their way," Doherty wrote.

Victoria psychologist Lane Johnson said Valentine's Day "becomes whatever we want to make of it."

"For some, it's a special time. For others, it's just another day," Johnson said.

Smith emphasized that her husband is thoughtful year-round, but his extra effort on Valentine's Day is treasured, and she also returns the favor.

"It sure makes all of us feel loved and appreciated," Smith wrote. "I always get him a heart, too, because thoughtfulness and love like that shouldn't go unappreciated."

CON: No special day needed to express love