Fresh off the wave of Mother’s Day greetings, salutations and a slew of Facebook posts, I thought I’d share a little about why you saw no mention of Mother’s Day on my Facebook page. It’s simple, really, I’m just not that into greeting card holidays.
If you’re not familiar with what a greeting card holiday is, or more often known as a Hallmark holiday, the name is pretty self-explanatory. Here’s an explanation from Wikipedia:
“Hallmark Holiday” is a term used predominantly in the United States to describe a holiday that is perceived to exist primarily for commercial purposes, rather than to commemorate a traditionally or historically significant event. The name comes from Hallmark Cards, a privately owned American company, that benefits from such manufactured events through sales of greeting cards and other items. Holidays that have been referred to as “Hallmark Holidays” include Grandparents Day, Sweetest Day, Boss’s Day, and Secretary’s Day. Some people also consider St. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to be such days.
Sweetest Day is an interesting holiday, one I’d never even heard of until I attended college in Northwest Pennsylvania — yep, it’s totally a greeting card holiday.
Anyway, I just don’t feel the need to make a big deal out of many of these holidays because a.) they’re commercially driven, and b.) why don’t people celebrate others all year round? In fact, my husband and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, at my request (plus, our wedding anniversary is two weeks after V-Day).
I’m grateful that my husband shows his love for me year-round, and doesn’t need a special day or occasion to send me flowers — we work well this way. However, I do understand that for many women, and many of my girlfriends, Valentine’s Day is one of the only days a year that their significant other bestows flowers upon them, or goes out of his way to show how much he appreciates his wife or girlfriend. This makes me sad, because if you only do something once a year, the concept seems special or even foreign, instead of just being a natural occurrence in daily life. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had friends be disappointed with Valentine’s Day because their significant other’s ministrations did not meet their fantasy or expectations (or that they didn’t have a special someone to celebrate with). And then there’s the whole oversharing bit on social media, wherein my feed is populated with photos of bouquets and jewelry for the entire day.
Mother’s Day is an especially strange “holiday” because children should show their appreciation for their mother year-round, no? I don’t know about you, but I’d like more than one day a year. Perhaps the best part of greeting card holidays is that they often serve to enforce quality family time, in an age when people seem busier than ever. And really, the best part of my Mother’s Day was the fact that my husband did not work Mother’s Day for the first time (since I became a mother), and we spent the day hiking and enjoying each other’s company. That’s what it’s really all about, right?
So, my thoughts on greeting card holidays can pretty much be summed-up in one word: “meh”. Give me “just because” any day. How do you feel about Hallmark Holidays?