A Hallmark™ day?*

cards

*For those that don’t know, Hallmark™ Cards are a large greeting card company based in the US, with stores throughout the world. They have a card for every occasion apparently. They also own Crayola, the company that make crayons. I’m not saying a thing. [Wikipedia link here].

So another Valentine’s day comes around. Restaurants charge twice as much for a table. Flowers suddenly increase in price. Chocolates too. Oh, and cards.

Years ago if you needed to apologise you would do it face-to-face. These days you can send a card. Sorry I missed you, send a card. Be happy in your new home, send a card. In fact, there is almost nothing that you can’t send a card for these days. Sorry your cat died, send a card. Thankyou, send a card. My condolences, send a card. Congratulations, send a card.

To show our appreciation we need to send a card. It is no longer done by saying a simple thankyou, because we want the world to know how thankful we are. Of course certain purveyors would want it that way. A restaurant would like nothing more than for you to take out your partner, friend, wife, dog or random stranger. But on a so called ‘special’ day e.g. Valentine’s, Christmas, New Year, Easter it gives them a reason to be able to up the price.

School holidays. Now there’s a similar subject. If you don’t live in the UK you may not be aware of how it is supposed to work here.
If you wish to take your child or children on holiday during school term, you must ask the school for permission. Yes, you read that right. Parents have to ask the permission of the school to take their own children on holiday during term time. [See here and here].
One father here in the UK was fined (£60/$75/€70) by the school because they would not allow him to do so, but he did anyway. He appealed. And won! He won on the basis that his child still had an attendance record of over 90% for the term and therefore was in no way a recurrent absentee and so the fine was not legitimately levied.  Anyway, I digress from my point. I will discuss this subject another day more fully.
The price of holidays increases during school holidays. It’s a cash bonanza as far as the holiday and flight companies are concerned. Very much like restaurants and florists at Valentine’s. You know. In the same way the price of chocolate takes a hike at Easter. And then almost immediately after drops again.
It’s all about supply and demand. A thing or two Uber know about. When there is some sort of transport crisis, the price of an Uber rises. They know that people still need to get from A to B so whilst the other options are fairly limited because of the transport crisis, they cash in on their availability. To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. But it’s still bloody infuriating. And expensive. But when you have to get there, there is only one choice.

There is no avoiding the commercialisation of holidays, festivals and traditions (and transport crises). In fact it is good business sense to cash in on those events. You never know when the gravy train will stop. As I mentioned to a colleague at work today, Easter eggs where on the shelves in our local supermarket by January 9th, when all the Christmas stuff was removed. Which was heavily discounted before being removed! Until later on this year when we can do it all over again! Ah, isn’t life wonderful. Anyone seen Groundhog Day? Sometimes it feels just like that, but on a yearly basis rather than a daily basis. Goodnight all!

 

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