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While many of our holidays are based on historical and religious events, others are believed to have been manufactured for commercial gain.

Valentine's Day is the most controversial of all holidays.What do you think?

Wikipedia states: "Hallmark holiday" is a disparaging 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 significant religious or secular event. The name comes from Hallmark, a privately owned American company based in Kansas City, Missouri, that benefits from such manufactured events through sales of greeting cards and other items. The company itself denies having any role in the creation of the holidays that bear this moniker.Holidays that have been referred to as "Hallmark Holidays" include Valentine's Day, Grandparent's Day, Sweetest Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day. 

Gift givers often feel pressured to give a gift on those days, as they are told by advertisers or society that one is expected. Men are heavily marketed near Valentine's Day by jewelry, chocolate, and other companies to give their products as gifts to the women in their life.

More "manufactured" Hallmark holidays include Grandparent's Day, Sweetest Day, Boss's Day and Administrative Professional's Day (formerly Secretary's Day). These are frequently ignored by a sizable percentage of the public."

In the business of promoting sales of vintage holiday collectibles, I guess I'm kind of thankful for Hallmark leading the way. smile.

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Replies to This Discussion

What a great post!
Thanks for writing and sharing your knowledge.
A somewhat small, yet interesting area of collecting would be the first Hallmark card in any given genre.
True! The original Easter Hall Brothers Inc cards posted on the main page of this group are a good case in point!

Reviving an older topic...what do you think about "manufactured" holidays? Do they help you sell your vintage collectibles?

QUESTION: Which is the one month of the year that has absolutely no official holiday??

Is Grandparents Day...coming up Sept 8th...a REAL holiday?

Answer from About.com

"Grandparents Day is a holiday created by federal proclamation in 1978. It was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter. It is not, however, one of the federal holidays for which government workers receive a day off. It is celebrated each year on the first Sunday after Labor Day, so it falls between September 7 and 13.

Marian McQuade, a West Virginia mother of 15, began a campaign for Grandparents Day in 1970. Three years later, her home state created the first Grandparents Day in the nation. The movement for a national holiday stalled, however, and McQuade and her supporters rallied the media and organizations for older Americans to support the cause, finally succeeding eight years later.

The holiday is designed as a two-way experience. According to the National Grandparents Day Council, the holiday is intended to make children aware of "the strength, information and guidance older people can offer." In addition, it is meant to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children. Although many see it as a day to give gifts to grandparents, it is appropriate for grandparents to give gifts to grandchildren on Grandparents Day, especially if they are gifts that honor family traditions.

McQuade was something of an iconoclast, and her vision for Grandparents Day was decidedly noncommercial in nature. One thing she wished to accomplish was to gain attention for nursing homes residents. For years she and her husband promoted Grandparents Day at their own expense. When Hallmark wanted to create a line of cards for Grandparents Day, the company offered a royalty to McQuade. She refused the royalty.

McQuade died in 2008. When she died, she had 43 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren."

"It's called Grandparents Day, but it's not a day for grandparents to rest on their laurels. The purpose of Grandparents Day is "to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of the strength, information, and guidance older people can offer." How can grandparents fulfill their share of this obligation? Consider items and experiences that reinforce the importance of family.

1. Something Handmade

Make something handmade for a grandchild for Grandparents Day, like a handmade doll.Photo © Creative Crop / Getty

If you are competent in an art or craft, consider making something for a grandchild. Soft pillows, dolls, stuffed animals and simple wooden toys are good choices, or paint a picture for the grandchild's room. If your talents run toward breakable items or easily damaged items, create them anyway and put them up, or let the grandchild's parents put them up, for the future. Something handmade is always special."

2. Collectible Items

Starting a collection for a grandchild is a way to celebrate Grandparents Day.Image Courtesy of PriceGrabber

There's no time like the present to start a collection for a grandchild. If your grandchild is old enough to demonstrate preferences, take his or her likes into consideration. So many collectibles are perfect for children. Comic books, Disney items, sock monkeys, Star Wars figures, Boyd's Bears and Beanie Babies are just a few of the kid-friendly choices. Find lots of information on the Collectibles site on About.com. And if the item turns out not to be the best choice, Guide Barbara Crews has price lists and advice about how to sell your collectibles, too.

3. Grandparent Journals

Country-style illustrations make this keepsake record book perfect for special memories.Image Courtesy of PriceGrabber

A grandparent journal is a book filled out by a grandparent and given as a gift to a grandchild. Typically it asks the grandparent to recall his or her early years and family life. Some have places for photographs and family trees. A carefully completed grandparent journal is an incomparable gift, but completing one does take time and effort. There are a lot of grandparent journals available. Take a look at this list of keepsake journals to find the one that's just right for you.

4. A Poem or Story

Consider writing a book about your grandchildren, with people and events from real life.Photo © S. Adcox

Even if you are doubtful about your writing skills, you can write a poem or story that will delight your grandchild. For very young children, write stories in which they are the main characters. Illustrate them yourself, or find pictures in magazines or on the Internet to illustrate them. You can even illustrate them with photographs of your grandchildren. Slightly older children will appreciate a poem. Here's a foolproof formula for writing a poem to give as a gift.

5. Family History Tour

For Grandparents Day, consider touring a family home.Photo © Comstock Images / Getty

Take a trip to sites that are important in your family history. If you still live near where you grew up, take the grandchildren to your elementary school, your childhood church, a family homesite, a former workplace, or some combination of these. If you don't live near your childhood home, consider a retro outing such as a visit to a drive-in theater or an old-fashioned roller rink. It's up to you whether you don skates!

6. Other Outings

An outing to the zoo is a great way to celebrate Grandparents Day.Photo © Alex Wong / Getty

Another possibility is to take the grandchildren on an outing, but this time choose the destination with your own likes in mind. Love music? Take the grandkids to hear some. Animal and nature lovers might choose a trip to the zoo. Museum trips are appropriate for those with a variety of interests. What's really important is that you share your passion with your grandchildren in a way that's appropriate for their ages and interests.

7. Family Photographs

unique gifts old picturesPhoto © Susan Leggett | Dreamstime.com

A framed family photograph may be a grandparent's favorite gift to get, but it's also a wonderful gift to give. For a young child, choose a photo of the child's mom or dad as a child and put it in a colorful frame. Even a very young child will be intrigued by the idea that a parent used to be a kid. Older children may appreciate a family photograph from the archives.  A picture of you with your grandchild is another good choice. If your photography skills could use some work, read these hints for photographing grandchildren.

8. Photo Book or Scrapbook

A photo album or scrapbook given for Grandparents Day may become a grandchild's favorite book.Photo © Kathy Quirk-Syvertsen / Getty

Recreate a memorable time with your granchild by creating a photo book or scrapbook about a vacation, birthday outing or other special time. If you are a hands-on person who loves crafts and who has some spare time, you should probably choose a scrapbook. If you are less crafty and more tech-savvy, go for the faster option of creating a photo book online. When you order a copy for your grandchild, order a second copy for yourself."

About.com Grandparents Day

So...just wondering, do your children/grandchildren even know that today is Grandparents Day? Are you expecting gifts, flowers a phone call? Are you giving a gift or acknowledging this "holiday"?

With Valentines Day just around the corner...well only a month away, I'll ask this question again, is THIS holiday Hallmark or Historical? And...if you are retailer, do you even care?

Nostalgic Love Valentine

Even with its roots in history, Valentine's Day is probably the most accused of commercial promotion and agenda. Here's a sentiment that many would agree with - including my husband! :)

Where does St Patrick's Day fall? Historical or Hallmark? Well, it definitely began as a historical/religious holiday...ABOUT SAINT PATRICK

"Saint Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. St Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works; the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians. Saint Patrick described himself as a “most humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshipped idols and unclean things had become the people of God.”Celebrating St Patricks Day

How do you celebrate? Is it a Hallmark occasion with sending cards?

I've never received a St Patrick's Day card. Have you?


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