Holidays and Hollow--Days
"Cleaning Up The Calendar"
Happy Holidays and Hollow--Days Everyone!
Naturally, the most obvious place to start when talking about "Holidays", would be the month of January, that being the first month of the New Year! The holiday "New Year's" is really a package deal. You can't really have a "New Year's Day" without the build-up to the New Year, so you must include "New Year's Eve" when discussing the holiday "New Year's", January first! So here we are working up to the "Big Day". The tension builds. Will we get invited to a wonderful New Year's Eve Party? Family, friends and strangers, gathering together to ring in the New Year. Pointy glittered hats, paper horns, little tin cranks and clackers, fireworks, streamers, champagne, dancing and lots of food and drink! Just the thought of the revelry and the anticipation of counting down to the bewitching hour makes you excited envisioning what a time you will have in celebrating the hopes for a Happy and Healthy New Year! Buying the dress, the shoes, getting your hair and nails done - even the harried preparations are a major part of the festivities. That is, if you have a date or mate, if you get the coveted invite (which is any invite), if you can get a dress at the last minute that fits, and if you can hire a dependable babysitter (dependable meaning: grandparent, a teenager that you hope you can trust, or some poor slob who didn't get invited out anywhere). If you are not going out or hosting a New Years Party yourself, you are either too old to stay up until midnight any longer, you have no date or worse yet, no invite. If you find yourself sitting home alone on New Year's Eve, you might find yourself half-heartedly sipping a glass of champagne, eating chow mein straight from it's paper container, while the clock mocks you and your aloneness with it's loud, almost torturous ticking. You just want the night to end, so that all those who did get party invites, could have their night come to an end too. Even the thought of turning on the TV pisses you off, for fear that you will see Dick Clark's stupid boyish face for the 90th year in a row with that garrish crystal ball waiting to drop in Times Square (secretly hoping that it actually will drop), and watching while all those way too happy faces of strangers smiling and laughing, warm with drink, are gathered round in a New Year's love fest! If you are celebrating, there's the counting down from 10-1, there are kisses at midnight, resolutions are made. Your money has been set out on the front stoop on New Year's Eve in hopes of money coming into the home in the New Year. On New Year's Day you try very hard to get out of bed on the opposite side from your usual route as you turn around in a circle three times while simultaneously chanting, "white rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit." Black beans and rice are surely a New Year's staple, as yet another sign of good-luck. Of course your New Year might not start out so lucky if you partied hard and now have a hangover, or the babysitter let the kids stay up to watch the ball drop and today they are so cranky that you just want to strangle them - especially with that hangover you're sporting. You and the hubby aren't speaking, because he drank too much and did something stupid like: tipping a beer over on your host's carpet, joked about the size of your ass in front of everybody, or slopped salsa down the front of his shirt resulting in his TAKING HIS SHIRT OFF and exposing his man boobs for the rest of the night. But New Year's really can be a fun and hopeful holiday. It can also be one of the most depressing holidays too. I suggest that you make the most of your New Year whether you're alone or celebrating with people. It is a time of renewal, so just go with it. But...
I would like to propose a "new" New Year's idea! We all know that we used to celebrate Washington's Birthday and Lincoln's Birthday separately, but as holidays have been added to the calendar (ie: Martin Luther King Day) and as there have only been 44 U.S. Presidents to date, I think it's fair and wise to honor all of the U.S. Presidents by clumping them all together in celebration on one day. After all, we could probably have designated holidays every day of the year for as many deserving people and as many different nationalities, and for as many religions and Saints as there are. That would be silly. We'd always be on holiday, never work and the economy would be in the toilet. Oh wait...many Americans on welfare today ARE always on holiday, there is NO work and the economy IS in the toilet! But just for shits and giggles, let's say this economy may recover some day. That being the case, clumping like-holidays together is a good idea. Just think how much money "We The People" could put back into the budget by not paying holiday pay to all of the government workers every time one of these many like-holidays came up. I would also like to propose that we change around some dates on the calendar! A "New" New Years is definitely where we should start!! Just hear me out here. If we can take away Washington and Lincoln's Birthdays, and honor all of the U.S. Presidents by lumping them into one holiday as we have done, if we can celebrate holidays on Mondays because of convenience, regardless of the holiday's "true" date, and if someone can all of a sudden change the horoscope charts, suddenly declaring that I am no longer the two-faced, split personality Gemini that I've always been, then I think we can change New Years....and I am ever so grateful that I never got that tattoo of The Twins, I'd been contemplating! We "need" to do this people! Start a grassroots campaign, right here, right now! First of all, I propose that we change New Year's to....tadaaaa....March!!
Happy New Year, March 21st! March 21st (or thereabouts) has always been slated as "The First Day Of Spring" and Spring is the season and time of renewal and new beginnings. Crocus, hyacinth, daffodils, tulips and forsythia begin to bud. It's the start of Spring Training and America's #1 sport: Baseball! Good-bye to the cold of Winter as people (and bears) begin to come out of hibernation. (I know, I know. Our Winter is Australia's summer, and perhaps the Aussies like having their New Year in the summer. Go for it! We are a separate country, a free country. We have several differing holidays from other countries and vice versa. If some other country wants to keep New Years as is- so be it. We don't have to! Another "new" holiday that could be combined with New Years on the first day of Spring, could be "Asian Day", or if you prefer; Asian Awareness Month! In America, we are very big on being "politically correct". Let's face it, Martin Luther King was a most honorable American, but there are many many honorable Americans and I can assume and hope that there will be many more in the future. I personally believe that we gave MLK a separate holiday, because it was politically correct to give a black man a holiday. After all, if the very first United States President can not have his own day in this country, then you give me any valid reason why any other man, woman, bunny rabbit, or religious figure should, if not for it being "politically correct". Having said my peace on that, we have Martin Luther King Day and we have Black History month to cover the blacks. We have Columbus Day and Cinco de Mayo to cover the Hispanics. Right after the Christmas holiday, we have "White" sales. And don't even go there with the Indians! With the money they're making at the casinos, I don't even want to hear them complain about getting on the calendar! So- I think that it is only a matter of time before someone insists that we celebrate the Asian culture. I truly believe that we should lump the new "Asian Awareness Day...or Month" holiday in the month of March along with New Years, since the only restaurants open on New Years Day are Chinese Food Restaurants, anyway! It's a beautiful idea! So this is where we are at: we have "New Years", "Asian Awareness Day/Month" and the "First Day of Spring" al ltogether and all celebrated in or on March 21st. No more missing New Year's Eve dinner reservations due to a Winter blizzard. No more long elaborate and expensive New Year's Eve gowns dragging through the winter slush. Just picture a grand display of fireworks shooting high in the air on a clear Spring evening. Now as far as St. Patrick's Day and Ash Wednesday in the month of March goes, do what you want. We cannot possibly have any religious holidays specified on any official calendar, other than Christmas (see the month of December below). Feel free to celebrate any other religious holiday you choose on your own time but not on "official" time. Once you do this, you stop every Tom, Dick and Harry with 5 or 10 friends from gathering together with one of them calling themselves a Minister, only later to demand acknowledgement for "their" new found religious holidays to be placed on the calendar.
With April as the new second month of the year, we'll have no official holidays that month. We can still celebrate Easter amongst our own church communities if we so choose and we can still have the mythical Easter Bunny hide plastic candy-filled eggs for children. I loved Easter as a child, dressing up for church, little girls in new hats, white gloves, patent leather shoes and lacy socks. Waking up to search for my Easter Basket with that terrible plastic grass whose errant strands can be found around the house for months to come; clinging to a couch due to static electricity or wrapped tightly around the vacuum cleaner beaters, causing the vacuum to overheat and keel over dead, and I love sitting down with family to a lovely dinner of ham, potatoes, greens and pastel dyed eggs.
In May, we normally celebrate Mother's Day, Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day. I'm thinking that we should combine Memorial Day with June's Flag Day, November's Veteran's Day and most definitely with September's Patriot's Day. I donot propose that we lump July's Independence Day with the four aforementioned dates, although we could. All five of those most revered holidays honor our country, our fallen military heros and this country's freedom. Combining the five holidays would make sense, but I do believe that in distinguishing these four aforementioned holidays from the Independence Day holiday, we can once again celebrate the four in the distinguished and respectful manner that they so deserve. As it is now and has been for far too long, the holiday of Memorial Day has become a paid "picnic and barbeque" day. As the old Veterans march through town in faded uniforms with buttons straining to hold on, take a minute to just look around. Children are waiting anxiously for the elaborate floats that toss candy off the backs of the trucks. Adults stay sitting in their lawn chairs as the bearer of the American Flag passes by. How many of you in the crowd bother to stand and pay reverance to Old Glory? How difficult can it be to remove your hat or cross your heart? How complacent have we become over the freedoms we enjoy. What must be taught, or not taught in the schools and in our homes in regards to this most important holiday, other than it being a day off from school or work? Do people even know who those Gold Star Mothers are that ride by in cars? When we don't attend local parades honoring our fallen vets, when we don't take this time to remember ourselves and to teach our children of the supreme sacrifice made by these men and women to preserve our freedoms and the freedoms of all mankind around the world, then Memorial Day sadly becomes a "picnic day, with pay". As tragic and shocking as the terrorist attacks were on 9/11/01, if anything, that most recent date of tradgedy occuring on American soil was a loud wake-up call! That recent threat to America's freedom has once again reminded Americans of those who serve at protecting our freedom. I'd be willing to bet that if you mention 9/11, children and adults alike in this country band together with a sense of loss, patriotism, a new found fire and a heightened awareness of what we lost and what we want to preserve. Unfortuneately, it is sadly human nature to care and take notice when things affect us individually. 9/11 occured during "our" time, whereas WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and Viet Nam are wars and conflicts that happened a long time ago. Fading memories that are events that we have to study about in school. I propose that we move Memorial Day to September One, in hopes that this recent attack on America and Americans can be a reminder that revives the awareness of all fallen American Heroes one special day that should be more pertinent than any other to celebrate. In conjoining the new with the old I pray of renewing a patriotic spark to a free society gone luke warm and apathetic. When we include June's Flag Day with May's Memorial Day, November's Veteran's Day and with September's Patriot's Day, we can teach our children and reeducate ourselves on the importance of what Old Glory stands for, as there is no monument more meaningful or moving in my opinion, than that of the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington, D.C., and no words to a song more powerful and patriotic than "The Star Spangled Banner".
This leaves us with no "official" holiday in May. Cinco De Mayo can be celebrated along with Columbus Day in October. No harm will be done here in changing the Cinco De Mayo date, because May 5th is not the Mexican Independence Day anyway. And as Americans, we use this day as an excuse to drink Coronas and shoot the tequila only, if you want to be honest about it. Just because many Mexicans illegally cross the border into the United States every day, does not mean that they have any rights to a holiday on our calendar! Mother's Day, Father's Day, Grandparents' Day, Friendship Day, Boss's Day, Secretary's Day, etc... are all made-up hollow-days by the Hallmark, American Greetings, and the FTD and 1-800-Flowers Companies, so stop sending your lobbyists to Washington bribing our Congressmen and Women into making all this crap "official" for the sole purpose of you making more money selling your wares.
We have already moved Flag Day to September 11th, and have now eliminated Father's Day, so for June, we have another holiday and hollow-day free month.
This brings us to July and Independence Day. Again, I left Independence on July fourth as is. Easily, the Fourth of July/Independence Day could have been grouped with our new all-inclusive Patriot's/Memorial Day/Flag Day/Veteran's Day Holiday, since America's Independence most certainly is a Patriotic occasion. In my heart I feel that Patriot's Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day and Veteran's Day are and should be respected as the more solemn occasions that they are and that Independence Day is a day worthy of partying and celebration. Let's save the fireworks and summer picnics for Independence Day and keep the party atmosphere where it belongs, completely separate from our 9/11 Patriots Day/Memorial Day/Flag Day/Veteran's Day Holiday.
August is another holiday and hollow-day free month.
Now we come to September. I all ready proposed the conjoining of Patriot's Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day and Veteran's Day to be celebrated on September eleventh. As it is now, we also have Labor Day which is celebrated in September with a "day-off from work". Okay, is this an oxymoron or what? We are celebrating the "working" people with a "day-off from work"? What? Let's just strike this holiday off the calendar right now and stop making asses of ourselves. Most American workers have every Saturday and Sunday as their "Labor Day" holiday. Some of us have Tuesdays and Wednesdays, or every-other-weekend, but what is one designated day of the year dedicated to the American worker not working going to get us, other than a seemingly ridiculous holiday that costs the government to pay it's workers, and all other businesses to pay it's workers, NOT TO WORK! Heck, buy your employees coffee mugs or t-shirts, or order in pizza for lunch that day, but a day honoring workers by allowing them NOT to work and then paying them for it, just doesn't work for me!
This brings us to October. We have the Hispanics covered here as we celebrate Columbus Day on October tenth and we have since moved Cinco De Mayo from May fifth to October tenth. I figure that since there is nothing "fun" to do on Columbus Day anyway, we might as well drink Coronas and shoot tequila in a toast to good ole' Chris! Halloween is celebrated in October. It's not a national holiday, it's just a real fun time of year for kids. Candy and dress up, there ain't nothing better! All except those poor Latter-Day Saints kids. I always felt bad when they had to sit back and not partake of the fun. (Thank God I was brought up in New Hampshire and not Utah! Please Utonians, do not take offense to this, I just really do enjoy celebrating the hollow-day of Halloween and Trick or Treat!)
This brings us to November. We've moved Veteran's Day to September eleventh, so this leaves us with the Holiday of Thanksgiving. Now I realize that any date that is officially designated as a holiday is a date on which we give Thanks, whether it be giving thanks to Veterans, Hispanics, Blacks, Whites, Asians, the New Year, the Flag, or the Presidents. I really couldn't reasonably argue with you in a debate if you were to say that the Thanksgiving Day Holiday is a redundant holiday. But if you make it official that the Thanksgiving Holiday celebrates all of the people and places, nationalities and events not specifically listed on the Calendar, then we've covered our asses with every group of people, religion, or cause imaginable! We will always be politically correct with this one. I say, "Leave it in!"
In December, we celebrate the Big One: Christmas. This one gives me a headache and a heart ache. What long ago was a spiritual, peaceful, loving, and magical time of year; a time for Peace on Earth Good Will Toward Men has been made into a holiday of contention rather than the Peace and Glad Tidings, which was it's intent. If most Americans believe that we are a Christian Nation, and most do, then why can't we leave the Christmas Holiday in Peace. If you are of a different faith, then you might consider calling Christmas; Religion Day, and celebrate your religion if and as you so choose. Make Christmas your Peace Day and help a neighbor, friend or stranger. You just lost Labor Day if all of my proposals for the new Calendar fly, so make Christmas your Labor Day if you want since most all businesses are closed and you'll be staying home that day anyway. If one of our American basic rights is Freedom of Religion, if American soldiers have shed blood and died to uphold that freedom among others, if most Americans believe that we are a Christian Nation, and if our Government, servants of the People, accept the Holiday of Christmas by not going in to work and by not turning down their Christmas holiday pay, then I say that celebrating the Christmas Holiday still stands.
Since the New Year will now begin in March. This brings us to the new eleventh month of the year: January. Since we have moved New Year's Eve to March twentieth and New Year's Day to March twenty-first, this leaves us with Martin Luther King, Jr. day on January seventeenth. Not unlike the combining of all of the U.S. Presidents being celebrated together on February twenty-first, let's leave this date open for combining any other most honorable and deserving black Americans who should make the list on this "Black Hall of Fame Day". Actually, I would like to nominate Rosa Parks right now myself if I can get a second, but if someone suggests Oprah Winfrey, I'm gonna scream!
This brings us to the last month of the New Year: February. Right now, we have the one "official" President's Day holiday and we have two Hollow-Days: Valentine's Day and Groundhog's Day; the latter just plain dumb, so cross that off your calendar right now. Valentine's Day is just another one of those commercial days that only Hallmark, American Greetings, 1-800-Flowers, FTD, Whitman's and Russell Stover love. If you receive a Valentine from your loved one you are happy. If they forget or just don't give you a Valentine gift then you are either sad or angry. If you have no Valentine in your life then you are depressed or jealous of those that do. Even if you do receive candy on that hollow-day, you don't really want it. It's too fattening and yet you feel you must eat the chocolates to show your appreciation. Half of the chocolates in the box you don't even like, like the orange cream-filled ones or the ones with nuts. If you receive flowers or a card, you feel that's wasted money. I propose that the hollow-day of Valentine's Day should be stricken from the calendar, gone in a cloud of dust.
Well, that's it. How'd I do? Are you with me people, or not? Are you willing to give this new Calendar Revision a try? Anything can be tweeked for the better. You can't stick with old things and outdated ideas just because they are comfortable and because change can be scary. As times change, we too must change. Who are the big makers of calendars? Help me out here people, give me some names. We need them to lobby in Washington for this new calendar. And just think....if it ever flies...maybe they'll have a new Holiday in "My" honor...heck, I'd settle for a "Hollow-Day".