How many more “Hallmark” holidays do we really need? It’s hard to believe how many couple focused holidays there are during winter months… and how many occasions appear to be based on retail opportunities. When I was firmly entrenched in couplehood, these days came and went without fanfare and I have to admit that I barely noticed the extensive media campaigns intent on getting people to purchase tokens of love and appreciation for spouses and significant others on these “special occasions”.
Between New Year’s Eve promotions (have you ever seen a promo for unattached and happy singles celebrating at the stroke of midnight without a partner?) and Valentine’s day advertising (I thought I’d gag if I saw yet another advert for jewellery/flowers/candy to show one’s love for a requisite partner), I can imagine how the emphasis on couplehood might affect some singles. For me, it was a matter of boredom in the manner of “not another Valentine’s Day ad! Isn’t there anything else more worthwhile to advertise?”
In the midst of this boredom, I got to wondering what it must be like for people who are widowed or unhappily divorced or seeking a mate (without success)? Or how people who are trapped in an unhappy relationship might feel when these fantasy advertisements come on and depict Cinderella-style couples? I think that it must be difficult, and also at times such as Christmas, Mothers/Fathers day, anniversaries, birthdays of former loved ones, etc. In fact, I realized that retail advertising is so focused on selling consumer goods that there is no room for empathy or compassion for the many people who watch and don’t share the joy of advertising’s stories. If I was queen of the world, I’d put empathy (and consideration) into advertising and ban a lot of frivolous, retail inspired holidays.
What do you think? Do we really need holidays that don’t have widespread, universal appeal? If we need to revive sagging retail sales and create a holiday, why not make them all friendship days? More people would get a healthier dose of goodness than on any other currently celebrated days.
Have a good week (and, hey, if you haven’t yet purchased Chinese New Year cards for all of your North American friends, get out there and start spending. Hallmark and other retailers are counting on you! LOL)