In Defense of the Hallmark Holiday

To some people, Valentine’s Day is not a “real holiday”; it’s simply a “Hallmark holiday.” In their eyes, Valentine’s Day exists for greeting card companies to make money for no reason at all.

But is there really no reason to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

I celebrate Valentine’s Day because I believe it’s important to remind people how much you love and appreciate them. Love is powerful, but often in the midst of our busy lives, we forget to take the time to show people just how much they mean to us. I’m not saying Valentine’s Day is the only day we should express love. I’m not saying Valentine’s Day can fully express the love that we feel.

I’m simply saying that Valentine’s Day exists as a simple reminder to show people that we care. Everyone, no matter how confident she is and how many friends she has, can feel unloved at times. Everyone, no matter how many people surround her, can feel alone at times. Because of this, I don’t think Valentine’s Day could ever be pointless; even something as simple as a greeting card or note can make someone’s day, and remind someone that she is not alone. Valentine's Day

If you don’t think the greeting cards at the store accurately display your feelings, then make your own cards. Pour your heart out into the message as if you’re writing the story of the friendship between you and the person the card is for. Tell them why you love them. Tell them why they’re irreplaceable. Tell them that you’re there for them. Tell them what their friendship means to you.

Or maybe your friendship would be better represented by a funny card with a sarcastic message. Maybe you’d rather give a card that could keep the person laughing for days.

Maybe you want to send your friends the carnations that your school sells and laugh about it later, inscribing cute little messages within the cards.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be generic. A blank greeting card has infinite possibilities. The boxes of Valentine’s cards range from superheroes to pop culture references. The holiday is up to you. The words you inscribe within the card are yours, and not anyone else’s.

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because I only express love once a year.

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day to increase sales at my local Hallmark store.

I celebrate Valentine’s Day to remind people how I feel about them on every single day, hoping that they’ll feel less alone every single day. Hoping that they’ll see they have a friend every single day.

Valentine’s Day cards don’t exist to be conditional; they don’t exist to say this is how I feel today, but forget about it tomorrow. Rather, they exist to say, this is how much you mean to me today and tomorrow and yesterday and last year and next month. This is how I truly feel.

Maybe Valentine’s Day seems cheesy to you, but again, Valentine’s Day can be what you want it to be. If you want to laugh about how cheesy it is and give your loved ones cards with funny cartoon characters, then so be it. Maybe you get a good laugh looking at the stuffed animals and cards in stores.

But your true, vulnerable, unconditional feelings are not cheesy. They’re real. Buried beneath the commercial aspects of the holiday exists something real; something that you could share.

I love my friends and my family. They put up with my crazy, busy schedule and listen to my stories. They’re funny and beautiful and charismatic and all so different. The message within a card at the store could never fully express that. But I can try to.


Paige Sheffield


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