Monday, October 12, 2015
A Modest Proposal
Holidays are traditions long observed and in a lot of cases very out dated. Take Thanksgiving, for instance. Yes, take it away. Christmas decorations have generally been up for almost a month by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. It is recognized as officially the beginning of Christmas buying and nothing more. Few of us are thankful for much beyond the sales, a day or four off work, and football games. I am not even wild about Turkey. Stuffing yes, turkey no. And in a country dedicated to separation of church and state a holiday that includes praying seems a contradiction.
Speaking of contradictions, consider Columbus Day. An Italian that sailed for Spain and never actually made the shores of what is now the United States. And had he, then he would have simply claimed it for Spain. A couple other nationalities made it first we have now determined. And that is if you do not count the three waves of the earliest immigrants to our shores. Note: nobody is indigenous. But I guess you could say that for much of the world if we all originated in the Garden of Eden and out-migrated because it got crowded. Current belief is Eden was in Africa possibly around Kenya.
There is a trend afoot to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People's day. That gets those of Hispanic heritage a bit upset. They forget he was Italian. I say we just wipe the holiday off the calendar as a bad idea to begin with. And if we must have a federal holiday in October than let's make it Halloween. It is really very American in that the pumpkins were grown here. Before that in Ireland they carved out turnips to be lanterns. It would appease the Hispanics who are losing Columbus Day as All Souls Day is kin. The merchants would be thrilled no end because currently Halloween is the second biggest single marketing event. It is beat out only by Christmas.
The fundamental Christians might not be thrilled because of the supposed overtones of devil worship. But if we confine court house displays to just pumpkins and harvest scenes I do not see the issue. And a feast with pumpkin pie would make up for losing Thanksgiving.
So with those changes we are only one Federal holiday down. Ten is the magic number. I say we put a Dog Day in August which has no holidays but is known for the dog days of summer. We can all get behind taking our dogs to the park for a picnic. And if the cat people get upset we can make it Dog and Cat Day. We do love our fur kids.
My next campaign: Let's get rid of Day Light Savings time.