History Behind Hallmark Holiday:

What is the Hallmark Holiday?

  • The “Hallmark Holiday” is a term used for holidays in the U.S. that have been said to have been commercialised by the stationary card company Hallmark. 
  • Focus more on the commercial push than the historical significance of the holiday itself

List of Noted Hallmark Holidays:

Valentines Day and Marketing:

  • Social Media impact
    • Leads to the rise of random holidays “National Donut Day…”
  • May not have started as a commercialized or Hallmark Holiday, but has grown as one through the years
    • Adds to stress
    • Cost (wallet hurts big time)
  • Has become excessively commercial despite its origins

Valentine’s Day Commercialism History

  • And along with the rise of exchanging cards, complaints about Valentine’s Day have been going strong since at least 1847, when the New York Daily Tribune ran an article lamenting the loss of an old-fashioned, non-commercial day of love: “There was a time when Valentine’s Day meant something. Then it was a business of real lovers and there was sweetness under its delicate shy disguise. Good [graces]! that’s gone long ago. Now nobody makes more than a joke of it.” Indeed, the Tribune went on to declare, “We hate this modern degeneracy, this miscellaneous and business fashion. Send a Valentine by the penny post too? Bah! Give us the sweet old days when there was a mystery about it.”
  • Still, despite all that disdain, people loved Valentine’s Day. Over the years, the numbers of cards, card manufacturers and additional merchandise associated with the holiday increased. The British chocolate company Cadbury’s added a heart-shaped box of chocolates in the 1860s, and in 1907 Hershey’s introduced their chocolate Kisses. It wasn’t until in 1913 that Hallmark started selling their first Valentine’s Day cards.


  • Approximately 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged industry-wide (not including packaged kids’ valentines for classroom exchanges), making Valentine’s Day the second-largest holiday for giving greetings cards.
  • In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark and Italy.
  • Hallmark first offered Valentine’s Day cards in 1913 and began producing them in 1916.
  • According to the National Retail Federation, the average person celebrating Valentine’s Day spent $143 in 2018.


  • Valentine’s Day has a well-deserved reputation for being excessively commercial; in 2016, the National Retail Federation estimated that people in the U.S. would spend $19.7 billion on the holiday, with $1.1 billion going to cards.
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