In Defense of our Holidays

Labor Day Cancelled

Holidays have been around for much longer than anyone can remember. They’ve always been a part of our cultures, religions, and societies. Not all holidays are celebrated the same or have the same level of significance, but most everyone will cherish them. Holidays are days to simply relax and take it easy; days for self-reflection and becoming more deeply versed in tradition. One of the most important categories a holiday can fall into is a Federal Holiday, also known as a Public Holiday, because it is largely recognized by the nation it belongs to. So in this way, a federal holiday can be seen as something that every citizen is entitled to. Sadly this is not the case in a good number of places.

First off, I want to think aloud about what a holiday is meant for. As previously mentioned, it is a day a person can dedicate to themselves, someone else, or to the object of their worship. Examples of these days being: birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and holidays such as Christmas or Hanukkah. These are days we look forward to and build up anticipation for. Even if the day has not yet come, our expectations for the day have already been set up in advance. This is a stark parallel to normal days since most people wake up without a clue for how the day will go; whether it turns out to be good or bad, it’s just a normal day. The second reason for holidays are moments to simply step back from our normal days and breathe. There is no place for upcoming deadlines or dates – no use for worries or stress. On a holiday, you live in the moment of celebration and are allowed time to recharge. After a holiday we return to our normal routines during our normal days, doing normal things, and with normal expectations. They can be seen as a way to help prevent burnout.

Media by Alli Schmitz at CNN Money

Now, before reaching the problem, let us think about an example to sum up the said problem. Everyone loves a good food analogy. Let’s say one day after your classes, your mom called and said she was going to bake a cake and send it to you. She tells you that it’s your favorite and it’ll be there tomorrow. Tomorrow rolls around faster than you know it, and you are already on edge and wanting to eat a slice of that cake that you so covet. You get to your room and see a box on the bed. Hurriedly, you open it, but something is wrong. There’s no cake in the box. Just the faint smell of a cake. Suddenly all your anticipation falls out in a giant pile, pulling your mood down to the ground. Imagine how quickly your day can be ruined if you spend time planning things out to do on a holiday, only to find out your school or workplace won’t have that day off. There would just be a constant nagging thought in the back of your head all day as you work. “Why don’t we have this day off?” Just like that, you have a mindset not focused on work and doing more harm than good.

Holidays are meant to be fun days that everyone can enjoy. It seems almost blasphemous to work on one. Even if we still have to come to class, something in lieu of the day off can be offered. Perhaps a game-like activity or snack foods. One class I walked in on a few years back was having a Cinco de Mayo party. I still even have the head of the piñata from that day hanging from my coat rack.

So, in closing, holidays are important for us to adhere to. In the interests of our mental state and ability to keep trucking through those boring, normal days we should celebrate Holidays. It doesn’t have to be much in the way of celebration, but maybe a little food or a little music. Holidays are different from those normal days for a reason.

I say we respect that.

Media by Cullen Beatty


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