"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.
The Hallmark corporation denies that it creates such holidays and claims that it "wish[es] it were so easy that we could dream up products and people would flock to our stores to buy them", and that they only do it when there is "a real consumer need that we meet with our products."
In The Simpsons Season 9 episode Trash of the Titans, Costington's Department store creates a new August holiday called "Love Day." As Lisa puts it, this is intended to boost sales. Costington's sales chart (as shown in the episode) depict a dip from July to September. It's hard to imagine Costington's doing brisk business with Back to school sales.
- Wood, Zoe (May 2010). "Birthday Wishes: Hallmark Celebrates a Century of Schmaltz". The Guardian (London). Retrieved February 14, 2012.
- "How a Holiday Becomes A Card Sending Occasion" (Press release). Hallmark Cards. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2007. "While we're honored that people so closely link the Hallmark name with celebrations and special occasions, we can't take credit for creating holidays"
- Mooney, Linda & Brabant, Sarah (1998). "Off the Rack: Store Bought Emotions and the Presentation of Self". Electronic Journal of Sociology 3 (4). ISSN 1198-3655.
- Schmidt, Leigh Eric (December 1991). "The Commercialization of the Calendar: American Holidays and the Culture of Consumption, 1870–1930". Journal of American History (Organization of American Historians) 78 (3): 887–916. doi:10.2307/2078795. JSTOR 2078795.
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