Thursday, November 26, 2009

Holidays



Today is Thanksgiving Day, a day during which we show our appreciation for the many benefits we enjoy. And many there are, both personally and as Americans.
Personal thanks, at least for me are, first and foremost, for Barbara, who has enabled me to live a happy and generally prosperous life. We are living quite happily at Luther Acres Retirement Community, where we have made some good friends, and are close to her family, which treats me as one of them.
We should all be thankful for the wisdom of our Founding Fathers, who presented us with a Constitution guaranteeing us freedom in spite of what the political far right says. Their foresight has made possible all those things for which we are personally thankful.
While contemplating this day, I started thinking about other holidays we celebrate. I have sorted them into de facto categories. Let me clarify: I have assigned these holidays to categories which, in my opinion, illustrate the way we actually celebrate them. In some cases they may not agree with the way we normally think of them, and as always, feel free to click on the “Comments” button to let me know if you disagree.
Commemorative holidays are those on which we are supposed to remember certain significant historical events. All except one of them fall on the same day of the week, usually Monday, every year. The thing we remember on most of them is that we get a day off from work. The Monday holidays are Martin Luther King, Jr’s. Birthday, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day. The exceptions to a Monday celebration are Thanksgiving Day, which is celebrated on Thursday, and Veterans’ Day, which is celebrated on November 11th each year.
There is only one Patriotic holiday: Independence Day is a picnicking, speechifying, fireworking day, but if you call it Independence Day instead of the Fourth of July, most people look at you kind of funny.
There are several Commercial holidays, bonanzas for greeting card and gift companies. They are Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, Kwanzaa and Christmas. Lately the church has tried to put a religious spin on Christmas, but it is going to be difficult to override the commercial aspect, which begins around the first of November. By mid-morning on December 25th the living room looks like a truck loaded with tinsel and wrapping paper had smashed into a toy store. The holiday ends on December 26th, when all the kids’ gifts are broken, and the grownups’ gifts are being returned for cash, if possible.
There is one holiday which seems designed just for fun: New Year’s Eve, which precedes New Year’s Day both in time and degree of celebration.
Finally there are two Religious holidays: Easter, and the biggest holiday of all, the Superbowl, at which time we pay homage to the world’s most important organization, the National Football League.
Enjoy them all.

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