Column: A few new holidays would give us reasons to celebrate

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 30, 2002

&uot;There’s a party goin’ on right here, a celebration to last throughout the years.&uot; &045;Kool and the Gang, &uot;Celebration,&uot; 1979

It’s about time we got some new holidays.

I don’t mean just a day of observance. We have plenty of those: Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Labor Day and Veterans’ Day. Nor do I mean pseudo-holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, May Day, and Sweetest Day (a cheap imitation of Valentine’s Day for autumn).

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I mean real holidays, the kind where we get together with family and friends to eat, drink and be merry. Those are somewhat more limited: New Year’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas (or Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or whatever moon festival people in weird astrological cults celebrate). Incidentally, by &uot;drink&uot; I mean to consume beverages in general, not necessarily to consume alcohol.

I have some ideas for a few new holidays.

We have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Grandparent’s Day. Though they are artificial holidays created by greeting card companies, some families do get together to honor Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa. However, the only people who are honored on these holidays are people with children. Some people are being left out. Relatives Without Children of Their Own Day would be a good one for them. The only problem is that nobody would be able to come to their party unless they found a sitter.

On Thanksgiving Day, in addition to overeating and watching football, we ponder what we are thankful for. An admirable concept, but we need a holiday to complement it. How about Thankstaking Day, during which everyone would take credit for all the wonderful things they had done in the previous year? Everyone around the table would stand up and briefly congratulate himself or herself on another year well done. I’m not sure what the meal for that holiday would be, but you can probably bet that it wouldn’t be humble pie.

A funny holiday wouldn’t be a bad idea, either &045; a day on which we would practice and celebrate the gift of laughter. Everything about it would have to be silly, including the name. How about Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah-Zip-A-Dee-Day? That’s kind of silly. The entire day would consist of telling jokes and watching outrageously funny movies and comedy performances. The meal would have to be something funny, too. Snickers, Chuckles, Bonkers, Ho-Hos and Laffy Taffy would do nicely. To wash it down, everybody could drink Hee-Haw, Hy-Vee’s equivalent of Mountain Dew, through one of those silly straws.

How about Lazy Day, the only holiday celebrated by doing absolutely nothing? All we’d have to do for this one is sleep in until about noon, and then sit in front of the TV and watch whatever is on for the rest of the day, without even taking the trouble to throw a tape in the VCR or change the channel. We wouldn’t even have to get dressed &045; lounging around in sweatpants and the ratty old T-shirt we got on vacation in Orlando 10 years ago would be fine. Cooking, even via the microwave, would be out of the question, so acceptable meals would include pizza delivery, or whatever ready-to-eat foods you could find in the refrigerator or cupboard. Incidentally, some people already celebrate this day on a somewhat regular basis.

Here’s one that would promote goodwill within the community: Mow Your Neighbor’s Lawn Day or Shovel Your Neighbor’s Driveway Day. If we all took the time, once a year, to do something like that for our neighbors and they did the same for us, it would be less likely for animosity to develop between us. We wouldn’t let our leaves blow into our neighbor’s yard, because of the work we had put into keeping their yard nice earlier in the year. Of course, this wouldn’t prevent vandalism. There will always be delinquents who celebrate Egg Your Neighbor’s House Night.

I think adding a few of these holidays would make some of the normally boring months somewhat more interesting. For the record, I briefly also considered suggesting Clich Day, but I realized we need that holiday like we need another hole in our heads.

Dustin Petersen is an Albert Lea resident. His column appears Mondays.