Rant: The Infiltration of Hallmark Days

Okay, with the hope of inspiring more content from moi, I'm starting a 'rant series.' My topic today is Hallmark Days (which is the term I choose to refer to holidays with little to no significance other than to generate revenue for gift vendors). I was chastised today for missing a recent holiday and it sent me into a fury which quickly rendered me unable to express why I felt it was a bit unfair.

Perhaps it's just me, but I feel that anniversaries and holidays are supposed to be days that truely stand out from the others. They usually indicate a day delegated to celebrate a particular virtue, theme, or value or they mark the anniversary of an event of importance. Wedding anniversaries, birthdays, anniversaries of historic importance, and religious holidays seem (for me) to fall into the catagory of days that have specific significance to the people who celebrate them.

However, at what point do we draw the line between days with obvious significance and days with a significance prescribed by people and entities with commercial interests in the buying and selling of gifts? Should such a line not be drawn for fear of seeming trite? I could name a few holidays that - in my opinion - only serve the purpose of feeding the spending machine that we have become (the color red comes to mind). However, I think the most constructive suggestion I could leave would be to consider the true importance of a holiday you wish to celebrate with loved ones. Ask yourself if it represents a value that deserves more than just a brief mention or if it only being remembered as a result of common ritual. In addition, ask yourself if you aren't better served in demonstrating your love for someone special in your life on a daily basis instead on just those marked on your calendar.

[Uche Ogbuji]

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1 response
I agree, to a certain extent, but in a different way.  Too many "holidays" certainly do take something away from the significance of the holiday.  It's like visiting Florida vs living there.  You start to say, "What's the big deal?"

Honestly, I really don't think that it's too hard to sort out just what days should go.  For example, what if I want to go to the store and buy myself a drink on Sunday?  Why can't I have a beer (or a 5th of Tequila) just on the spur of the moment.  Similarly, why is it that the whole world shuts down for Christmas and Easter?  The only holidays where business whould shut down should be official government holidays, set aside for those who wouldn't otherwise get the time off for travel and such.

I strongly hold that all other holidays should be treated less more like Halloween and Valentine's Day - every man for himself.  So from here on out I declare myself a d-ologist, and d-ologist day in March 16th and no one should go to work!  (Oddly enough, here in Boston schools shut down for St. Patrick's Day.)  If everyone self-selects, then people would really be forced to choose just which days are really worth calling a holiday.

PS Thanks for the flowers on Sunday.  They were really a big surprise. ;)