KEY POINTS

  • National Spouses Day is celebrated on Jan. 26 every year
  • Some said it originated from the establishment of Military Spouses Day and was once exclusively for married couples
  • Unlike Valentine's Day, National Spouses Day promotes setting aside time to show one's partner love and appreciation

National Spouses Day is here! Its purpose is usually mistaken for giving gifts and tokens of appreciation for someone's partner, but unlike Valentine's Day, this day focuses more on looking back on the journey that a couple, married or not, has gone through.

Some may be confused when it comes to the differences between the two holidays, but the biggest one is how they are celebrated. Valentine's Day usually involves giving presents, whether it be chocolates, flowers or jewelry, to one's partner, while National Spouses Day celebrates the bond between two people and gives them a reason to take time out of their busy schedules to show each other how they much they are loved and appreciated.

National Spouses Day is believed to have originated from the establishment of Military Spouses Day, according to National Today. It was first perceived as a holiday exclusively for married couples, and only recently has it been celebrated by couples who have not tied the knot.

Celebrated on Jan. 26 every year, National Spouses Day is seen as an opportunity to show thanks to one's partner in ways other than giving cheesy gifts — a trend that is common during Valentine's Day.

Unlike Valentine's Day, which is usually more popular with the younger generation, National Spouses Day offers older couples a chance to revitalize their relationship as it can be easy to get lost in the seemingly never-ending hamster wheel that is life. During this day, couples are encouraged to spend some time alone with each other to appreciate the gift of being in love and building a life with someone who is committed (or has committed) to being with them for the rest of it.

Valentine's Day, on the other hand, has become more of a commercial holiday, with thousands of brands constantly competing with each other in coming up with clever marketing schemes to further the sales of their products.

Last year, Americans were expected to spend a total of $27.4 billion on Valentine's Day, with those celebrating the holiday spending an average $196.31, according to annual estimates by the National Retail Federation.

“Valentine’s Day is a sentimental tradition, but gift-giving can be driven by the economy,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers spent freely during the 2019 winter holidays and they appear ready to do the same in the new year. The same strong employment numbers and higher wages that boosted holiday sales should make it easier to spend a little extra to say ‘I love you’ this year and to spread the gift-giving beyond just your significant other.”

Regardless, the true essence of Valentine's Day still lies in the passion that comes with youthful love and gestures to make one's partner feel extra appreciated.

Despite their differences, the two holidays share the same objective — which is to celebrate love and all the beauty it brings to this otherwise busy world.

True love: a woman and her Valentine's Day date pose behind a heart-shaped pastry during a February 14 Paris flash mob True love: a woman and her Valentine's Day date pose behind a heart-shaped pastry during a February 14 Paris flash mob Photo: AFP / FRANCOIS GUILLOT