Lobbying from the National Greeting Card Consortium for an “Ex Day” finally paid off on Thursday, as President Obama approved the new federal holiday. The second Sunday in January each year will now be the official day to celebrate past relationships.
Because it will be celebrated on a Sunday, government workers will not receive pay for the day. People who normally work on Sundays will be encouraged to take the time to remember past relationships and may choose to do something special..
According to Amy Strapler, head of the the National Greeting Card Consortium, “the purpose of this day is to celebrate past relationships with someone that you may still care about, but are no longer with.” She also said that she hopes it will allow closure in some relationships and the opportunity to rekindle others.
Strapler advised that the holiday may also be used to break up with a current relationship, and that greeting cards will be produced by national vendors to cover a variety of circumstances. “We don’t yet know the scope of possibilities as this is a new holiday,” Strapler stated.
The 2nd Sunday in January was picked because many couples break up after the end of the year, and this is a period when a lot of people are thinking about the past and the future. It is also more than a month before Valentine’s Day, so people have over a month to begin new relationships in order to celebrate the next holiday..
There was some criticism that the push for the new holiday had commercial motivations, but in response, Strapler stated, “when Grandparents Day was introduced in 1978, people made the same false claims. Change takes time to get used to, but after awhile people will recognize the value and appreciate the opportunity to express themselves.”
The holiday is expected to generate approximately $2.4 billion annually in greeting card and associated gift sales.