February’s Valentines Day, September’s National Singles Day and the upcoming Black Friday are consumerist nightmares. In fact, most holidays are.
When most people think of the holiday season, they imagine a break from their stress and time with their loved ones. But with that comes constant spending. Companies take advantage of these holidays to profit off of people’s kindness. Have you ever noticed that there seem to be more and more pointless holidays?
At the time of writing this, for example, it is National Calzone Day. Restaurants like Minsky’s Cafe and Bar use days like these to promote their products and offer discounts, incentivizing people to buy a calzone when they would likely not have considered it in the first place.
On National Ice Cream Day (July 18), you’ll see deals from many ice cream places. Dippin’ Dots, Cold Stone Creamery, Baskin Robbins and other ice cream companies created and promoted this holiday, and it’s effective.
Even seemingly heartwarming holidays, like Grandparent’s Day and Valentine’s Day, are really benefiting huge companies rather than our loved ones. National Singles Day, which seems to promote self-love, was started by Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang to promote a new brand. The holiday is now a huge shopping event in China, encouraging content singles to spend a ton of money on themselves that they wouldn’t otherwise shell out.
Though these holidays promote good messages, I just see them as quick cash grabs by big companies, because the whole purpose of these thoughtful holidays is defeated when they come with a price tag. They become “Hallmark Holidays.”
And while I may sound cynical, it’s not my belief that we shouldn’t appreciate anything celebrated by arbitrary holidays. There’s nothing wrong with partaking in them. I have to admit, I’m a fan of Ice Cream Day. I don’t take issue with the people who want to treat their significant others extra special on Valentines Day or call their grandma on Grandparents Day. The problem is the companies that have turned these holidays into a way to make money from well-intentioned people. I don’t need a store-bought item to show my friends and family that I love them. We should be showing our appreciation for others each and every day, not just once a year randomly. Practice self-love every day, don’t just wait for Singles Day to come around. So next time you look at your phone and see that it’s #sistersday, tell your sister you care about her instead of buying a $7 card from Target.
Click here to learn more about Single’s Day. Check out more of Marissa’s work here.