With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, the phrase “Hallmark Holiday” kept popping up in my head. I became fixated on just how freaking difficult Hallmark has made my last-minute card shopping for all holidays and events.

Simply put: Hallmark sucks.

I know other card companies exist, but Hallmark has a powerful monopoly over all of them. It’s the trusted brand of every Walgreens and therefore it becomes the only option for lazy one-stop-shoppers like myself.

Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like Hallmark never quite has what I’m looking for. All I want is card that’s slightly comical, but not too aggressive, for my mom or a card simple and pretty enough for my aunt.

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But almost all Hallmark cards are either distastefully inappropriate or way too childish. I feel as if there’s no happy medium. A nice, pretty card that isn’t trying too hard is a rare find, because it seems like all Hallmark cards do is try too hard.

Without fail, there are some random Catholic-themed cards for every occasion imaginable with phrases like, “God has blessed me with such a joyous grandniece on this day. Happy birthday and have faith in Christ!”

First of all, why do these always end up in the wrong aisle? Secondly, is it bad I debated ironically buying them for my Jewish friends? Was Hallmark serious about these cards? A simple, “Happy birthday!” should suffice. We don’t have to bring Jesus into everything.

It is also almost guaranteed you will find cards with “vintage” photos of grandmas accompanied by unnecessarily inappropriate sexual innuendos. Next to these sit the cheesy Snoopy cards.

Snoopy? Really? Does anyone actually walk into Walgreens wanting to buy these? I have so many questions for Snoopy card enthusiasts.

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Finally, when Hallmark decides to make cards that are supposed to be fancy and genuine, such as for condolences, the script font is always too loopy and curly to make out. There is a reason they don’t teach script writing in classes anymore — it’s useless and no one can read it.

It should not take a fully capable human being more than three minutes to walk into a store, find a card they are pleased with and bounce. But for every short time frame I give myself to grab an anniversary card for my parents, I always find myself sighing at the checkout counter and thinking, “Well, this was the best I could do.” This is not something you should find yourself thinking after purchasing a card meant to be thoughtful for a loved one.

I think I’m going to stick to crayons and construction paper from here on out. All I have to say to Hallmark is this — do better.

Jill Kazlow ([email protected]) is a freshman intending to major in journalism.