The term “Hallmark holiday” refers to any holiday that is created for commercial gain, or a holiday that has become a mainly commercial holiday. The term “Hallmark” refers to the Hallmark Greeting Card company in the United States that benefits greatly from selling cards that can be given out on these made-up holidays, as well as small gifts and treats. However, these holidays were not created by Hallmark, even though it gets rich from them.
These non-holidays were created by governments and organizations to celebrate certain people/occasions that citizens might have forgotten. In 1978, the United States government created “Grandparents’ Day,” a holiday for children to celebrate their grandparents. This holiday has since expanded to countries all around the world and increases revenues by the millions for greeting card and gift companies and florists all over the world. If a child doesn’t remember their grandparents on Grandparents’ Day, shame on that child….and buy some expensive merchandise to show them how much you love them! I admit, grandparents are wonderful, and I sincerely loved my grandparents, but they don’t need a special day….every day should be Grandparents’ Day!
If family members weren’t enough, “Boss’ Day” and “Secretary’s Day” (I’m sorry…Administrative Professional’s Day) were created to make the workplace a little more light-hearted and congenial. Now bosses can feel better about themselves by buying a small gift or flowers for the people they push around all year, and the employees can kiss up to the boss by signing a collective greeting card and chipping in for a bottle of wine. Woo-hoo, so congenial and light-hearted. These holidays have become mandatory now, and people who forget about Secretary’s Day or Boss’ Day are put in the doghouse at work and not considered “team players!” It’s become a new form of bullying in the workplace.
And, let’s not forget the triumvirate of increased profit margins and FTD and 1800Flowers.com‘s reason for existence: “Mother’s Day,” “Father’s Day” and “Valentine’s Day.” These holidays existed before the greeting card boom, but they have become much more commercial and “mandatory” in recent years. If you don’t plan something absolutely special for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, I pity you later when she/he finds out. If you forget to send flowers to mom on Mother’s Day or call your dad on Father’s Day, the whole world lets out a collective gasp at how inconsiderate and selfish you are. These holidays ARE MADE UP! They have no major significance!
Valentine’s Day is a saint’s day, named after St. Valentine. St. Valentine is a second-rate saint in the Catholic church, who’s “martyrdom” is usually celebrated on February 14, but the Catholic church says that churches can celebrate any of the saints that were martyred on that day on February 14th. There are also other Saint Valentines who are celebrated in the Lutheran and Anglican churches that have no significance with February 14th. There’s even another Catholic saint called Valentine who is celebrated on July 30th. How did this holiday come to mean love and affection? Nobody knows. There isn’t too much known about Saint Valentine that can link him to this disgusting spectacle of love and materialism, yet, it’s in his honor and lonely is the fool who doesn’t have a date for Valentine’s Day!
I don’t have a problem with celebrating the people in our lives. They are some of the most important people to us, and we should celebrate them. But, isn’t that what a birthday celebration is for, or why you purchase Christmas gifts? Can’t we celebrate these people in our own time, without greeting card companies and special television commercials telling us when it’s time to do so. I know that when I’m back in New York this summer, I will go shopping with my mother and fishing with my father. These are the ways in which I celebrate the important people in my life. I have fallen to the Valentine’s Day hype and made sure that I did something nice with my “significant other,” but in years when I had nobody, it was known to me as a “black” holiday. Why are people made to feel this way? These holidays make no sense except to the companies that get rich off them. They are there to guilt people into buying cards, gifts, flowers, gift-cards, chocolate, etc. People should celebrate each other how they want and when they want. They should not adhere to any calendar no matter which greeting card company printed it!