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Old 08 February 2008, 05:41 PM
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Icon105 Valentine's Day invented by Hallmark

Comment: I was hoping to 'prove' to my girlfriend that Valentines day was invented
by Hallmark cards to fill the void between Christmas and Easter for card
sending.
That was the rumour I heard anyway. Not sure I believe it.
Often heard others saying it, so don't think its just me!
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  #2  
Old 08 February 2008, 06:43 PM
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If it was invented by Hallmark, then the company is a lot older than I would have thought. According to The History of Valentine's Day

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Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. The first commercial Valentine's Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland.
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Old 08 February 2008, 08:34 PM
Malruhn Malruhn is offline
 
 
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There is another "lurve" holiday in October or so that WAS invented by Hallmark's rival, American' Greetings, called, "Sweetest Day." As far as I can see, it is an Ohio, Pennsylvania regional thing.

Actually, as far as I can see, it's just another opportunity to blow money for no reason other than to fit into societal norms...
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Old 09 February 2008, 01:08 AM
Insensible Crier Insensible Crier is offline
 
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I say it was started by Russell Stover and Whitman. They secretly met and came up with the best way to market their boxes of sweet sin.
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  #5  
Old 09 February 2008, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Malruhn View Post
There is another "lurve" holiday in October or so that WAS invented by Hallmark's rival, American' Greetings, called, "Sweetest Day." As far as I can see, it is an Ohio, Pennsylvania regional thing.

Actually, as far as I can see, it's just another opportunity to blow money for no reason other than to fit into societal norms...
Apparently Sweetest Day isn't that widely recognized. In college, many out-of-state students hadn't heard of it, though people from Michigan, surrounding states, or the East Coast seemed to. Particularly people from the south or out west hadn't.

As for Valentine's Day itself, not only is it pretty old, I've read claims (Not sure how true they are) that it approximately coincides with a similar pre-Christian Holiday. Whether that's true, and if it is, if there's a connection, I have no idea, but Hallmark didn't make Valentine's Day any more than they made Christmas or Easter: They just helped make it an opportunity to extract money from wallets.
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  #6  
Old 09 February 2008, 01:39 PM
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I haven't seen Sweetest Day get lots of recognition any place, but I see the cards. I'm not a fan of "manufactured" holidays, but I like this one because it's exclusively the domain of romantic love, whereas schoolchildren and family members exchange Valentines.
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Old 09 February 2008, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay Temple View Post
I haven't seen Sweetest Day get lots of recognition any place, but I see the cards. I'm not a fan of "manufactured" holidays, but I like this one because it's exclusively the domain of romantic love, whereas schoolchildren and family members exchange Valentines.
Over here, Valentines Day greeting cards are the domain of romantic love. I've never quite understood how the US follow a different tradition.
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  #8  
Old 09 February 2008, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jw View Post
Over here, Valentines Day greeting cards are the domain of romantic love. I've never quite understood how the US follow a different tradition.
Over here, they really are too (at least at my "over here" ) With the exception of school children being encouraged to exchange Valentine's cards that usually say things like "I like you", "You are cute" or some horrible pun that hints at romantic love. If they participate, students usually must give a Valentine to every other student in the classroom (to keep things fair) which means that sometimes kids are expressing their undying love to other kids who they do not even like. I always found that to be kind of icky and distasteful and I try to find Valentine's cards with as few declarations of love as possible. My youngest is the only one at an age to exchange Valentines still, and this year she has Hello Kitty that say things like, "You are glamorous" and, "You Sparkle".

For my kids, I usually do buy them Valentine's presents- and lots of candy but not cards which IME are reserved for romantic love. Really though to my kids Valentine's day is all about chocolate and a Mom's weird presents
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  #9  
Old 09 February 2008, 03:32 PM
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In Canada, Valentines day is the day you get to make up for buying your SO a set of pots and pans, snow tires, washer and dryer set, or some other incredibly useful and needed item for Christmas.
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Old 09 February 2008, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by KKHB View Post
Over here, they really are too (at least at my "over here" ) With the exception of school children being encouraged to exchange Valentine's cards that usually say things like "I like you", "You are cute" or some horrible pun that hints at romantic love. If they participate, students usually must give a Valentine to every other student in the classroom (to keep things fair) which means that sometimes kids are expressing their undying love to other kids who they do not even like. I always found that to be kind of icky and distasteful and I try to find Valentine's cards with as few declarations of love as possible. My youngest is the only one at an age to exchange Valentines still, and this year she has Hello Kitty that say things like, "You are glamorous" and, "You Sparkle".

For my kids, I usually do buy them Valentine's presents- and lots of candy but not cards which IME are reserved for romantic love. Really though to my kids Valentine's day is all about chocolate and a Mom's weird presents
See, that's exactly what I'm saying. How do you equate a day for lovers with buying candy for children and children buying cards for their entire classroom?
IRC, on a visit to Boston a few years ago at this time of year, people hung Valentines flags from their houses, and my then 8 year old neice, was writing about 30 cards. How weird is that?
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  #11  
Old 09 February 2008, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jw View Post
See, that's exactly what I'm saying. How do you equate a day for lovers with buying candy for children and children buying cards for their entire classroom?
IRC, on a visit to Boston a few years ago at this time of year, people hung Valentines flags from their houses, and my then 8 year old neice, was writing about 30 cards. How weird is that?
The cards that kids exchange, I have no idea. I still think that is kind of weird, I only go along to be a good sport because my kids are tired of me protesting such things.

But buying candy for my own kids, mainly because to them (when it is from me) it is just candy and the presents are just silly presents. I usually buy them something that says, "I love you" on it, because I do, but I don't give them romantically themed presents or cards.

Bringing this back to the original comment, I think that Hallmark et al might be responsible not for Valentine's Day in general but maybe the shift in focus from lovers to anyone who you love in any way.
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  #12  
Old 09 February 2008, 06:10 PM
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I went to an elementary school where every year we had to give Valentines to everyone in the class. It was so stupid and pointless. I never understood why I was supposed to want a card with a cartoon character expressing a sentiment on the front, with the name of some kid I barely knew (or didn't like) on the back. What was I supposed to do with them afterwards? Nobody actually meant anything with their cards; it was just something you did because you were supposed to. Kids were allowed to give out candy to whomever they chose, though, so you knew where you stood if you didn't get a piece of candy.

I was very unpopular and most kids either ignored me or bullied me. I knew they were only giving me Valentines because they were required to, and it's really stupid to force people to pretend to like each other.

In 5th grade there were a few girls I loosely thought of as friends, so I only brought in cards for them. Someone found out and tattled on me to the teacher, who made me take out notebook paper and a red pen and write Valentines for everyone I'd neglected to give a card to - including the yucky boys who bullied me. They laughed the entire time, and then complained to the teacher that my Valentines weren't good enough.

I think that started my loathing of Valentine's Day.

Last edited by Cervus; 09 February 2008 at 06:19 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09 February 2008, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw View Post
See, that's exactly what I'm saying. How do you equate a day for lovers with buying candy for children and children buying cards for their entire classroom?
How do you equate the resurrection of Christ with chocolate bunnies and baskets of eggs?

I have no answer, just pointing out that most holiday traditions are kinda silly.
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  #14  
Old 09 February 2008, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Simply Madeline View Post
How do you equate the resurrection of Christ with chocolate bunnies and baskets of eggs?
The latter is pretty simple, really: Eggs represent life. The resurrection represents both Jesus' new life and a figurative new life in Christ. (Rabbits have to do with fertility, which is indirectly related.)
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  #15  
Old 10 February 2008, 04:58 AM
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Feb 14 is my Belgian Malinois' birthday, in case anyone's interested.
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  #16  
Old 11 February 2008, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Not_Done_Living View Post
In Canada, Valentines day is the day you get to make up for buying your SO a set of pots and pans, snow tires, washer and dryer set, or some other incredibly useful and needed item for Christmas.
Blimey, in my family Valentine's Day is an excuse for buying yet more useful and needed items! Us engineers aren't renowned for being romantics. Roses or cookware? Quick cost-benefit analysis later and the new set of cookware wins!
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  #17  
Old 11 February 2008, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Temple View Post
The latter is pretty simple, really: Eggs represent life. The resurrection represents both Jesus' new life and a figurative new life in Christ. (Rabbits have to do with fertility, which is indirectly related.)
So, why colour the eggs, and why represent the rabbits in chocolate? Why give these treats to children?
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  #18  
Old 11 February 2008, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Temple View Post
The latter is pretty simple, really: Eggs represent life. The resurrection represents both Jesus' new life and a figurative new life in Christ. (Rabbits have to do with fertility, which is indirectly related.)
It's the usual old story. Pagans happily celebrate spring when birds are nesting and bunnies breeding. Along come a bunch of religious upstarts and hijack all our symbolism and then claim it is Christian symbolism.

They did it with our midwinter festival (evergreens and feasting) and they did it with our spring festival. They justify the hijacking by attaching their own (IMO forced) meanings to symbols that have long pre-dated their religion.
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  #19  
Old 11 February 2008, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
It's the usual old story. Pagans happily celebrate spring when birds are nesting and bunnies breeding. Along come a bunch of religious upstarts and hijack all our symbolism and then claim it is Christian symbolism.

They did it with our midwinter festival (evergreens and feasting) and they did it with our spring festival. They justify the hijacking by attaching their own (IMO forced) meanings to symbols that have long pre-dated their religion.
[Thread Hijack]

I think this is a little unfair. The Pagan rituals and symbolisms were not so much hijacked and/or stolen as they were adapted.

Many early Christians were converts from Paganism. As it is today, many of the celebrations, rituals and even symbols were as much cultural as they were religious, in some cases more so. Christianity found a way to incorporate cultural celebrations that were already part of their life into a "religious upstart". Pagans hardly have claim to feasting as a means of celebration and the forced symbolism isn't all that forced, it is just viewed differently (by Christians) than it once was.

Just as many people who are not Christian celebrate Christmas and Easter in a secular fashion because it is part of the culture in which they were raised, so too did early Christians continue Pagan customs. Looking for, finding, and embracing a different meaning to these customs was part of forming a new culture, not thievery. (All IMO of course). [End thread hijack]
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  #20  
Old 11 February 2008, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw View Post
Over here, Valentines Day greeting cards are the domain of romantic love. I've never quite understood how the US follow a different tradition.
I still feel terrible about stopping writing to my 14 year old U.S. penpal when she sent me a Valentine. I thought she was a l-e-s-b-i-a-n.
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