Opening Salvo on the War Against Sanctioned Holidays

I really imagine that I’m going to piss people off with this post but here it goes. I would like to announce that just because your government has deemed something a holiday doesn’t really mean anything more than you’ll get no mail and the banks will be closed. Every thing else is what you make of it.

I hate this time of year. National Crass Consumerism season is upon us and I feel caught in the cross-fire between wars on xmas and thanksgiving.    We celebrate xmas on December 25th because the Nicene Council co-opted mithras’ birthday and story as the story of Jesus. We celebrate thanksgiving on that fourth Thursday in November because of a decree Lincoln made during the Civil War. Actually, most of modern xmas these days is a twist of many pagan traditions. The first real thanksgiving holiday in the US had absolutely nothing to do with turkeys or pilgrims. As far as we can tell, the pilgrim version of a thanksgiving type celebration in the 1600s came at the end of June. Most biblical scholars think a historical Jesus was likely born around October. So, my question is this … why is every one getting their panties in a twist on what particular day they have off of work, what they do with that day, and what they force the rest of us to do?

Emergency workers, public safety workers, casino workers, and health care workers are basically on a 365 day, 24 hour, 7 day a week schedule. Why fret that retailers want to do the same thing? You work there, you get a pile of days off and you get to use them.  You don’t always get the days you want, but the usual distribution of days off is done with a degree of judiciousness.  Each religious group goes for their own set of holidays and covers the others. I’ve been on one of those schedules and I have no problem working on any traditional holiday because it’s just another freaking day to me. Better yet, it’s a really quiet, mostly work free day in your work environment because the rest of the lemmings have spent a lot of money, time and effort trying to life up to the consumerist’s dream of “family” tradition and holiday. Aren’t there some freaking football teams working on Thanksgiving and the day after too? Plus, all those folks that work in support of an arena? Why not block the showing of all games and parades which are also a lot of freaking work?

To these people, I say, make up your own damn holiday and celebrate as much as you want and whenever you want and get your family together to do things. Also, quit spending money that makes the business community go apeshit at specific points in the year. Diwali just passed us by. Do you see any Hindus parading around and complaining about not getting a national day off of life and stores filled with Diwali food and trinkets? I can imagine many celebrated it as a day off work, did their own things with their families with their own traditions and stuff. That should be the nature of family get togethers and holidays.  Why does every US holiday have to be a mass spectacle with forced participation and budget that would make an Emperor blush?

The problem is that workers aren’t treated with respect and they aren’t given enough vacation and time off. It doesn’t freaking matter if it’s the day after xmas or thanksgiving or independence day or talk like a pirate day. You honestly don’t see these kinds of crap conversations going on in media in other places in the world.  The civilized ones don’t treat their workers like that and the uncivilized ones have bigger problems to deal with.  The US seems to turn their holidays into something sacred that’s blown way out of proportion and requires gigantic budgets and effort. US holidays are placebos for a lifestyle that sucks. The emphasis should be on correcting the lifestyles that sucks not the damned contrived holidays.

That is all.

Fire away.

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15 Comments on “Opening Salvo on the War Against Sanctioned Holidays”

  1. HT says:

    While I really like all of your posts and the way you express yourself (literate and sound thinking is my yardstick) you have hit it out of the park with this one. You have said in one short post what I’ve been saying to my family for many many years. Thank you.
    BTW my son wants to work every holiday because he gets time and a half or double time. I dobut that Walmart employees get that little incentive seeing as they don’t get a living wage or benefits, but if Corporations want to turn every pseudo-religious celebration day into a retail bonanza, they should be prepared to adequately reimburse their employees who are forced to work. Just my opinion of course.
    In my family, we celebrate just being able to adjust schedules to spend time together regardless of the calendar.

  2. surfric says:

    Excellent post. I’ve felt this way all my adult life. Just have to observe that if were I who warned against folks getting their “panties in a twist” around here, there would be Hell to pay! Happy Turkey Day everybody!

  3. NW Luna says:

    Brava! I too hate this time of year because (takes up stand with shield next to dakinikat):
    1) It’s assumed everyone will stuff themselves to excess and beyond with dead bird flesh and cranberry-red sugar glop.
    2) Stores are madhouses from the Weds before Thanksgiving to New Year’s.
    3) You’re supposed to do stuff with teh family, even though your b-i-l is a nutwing wife abuser and a Teahadist, and your sister stuck your mother in a place where “care” means turning on the TV.
    4) Hideous jingle-bell music is inescapable.
    5) The Fundies rant louder than ever that freedom of religion means to stuff their version down everyone elses’ throats.
    6) Non-Xians must wear a “Weird” sign for the 12 Days of Xmas.
    7) People buy useless plastic crap because it’s The Reason for the Season.
    8) Spoiled screaming children go on steroids.
    9) Love, compassion, and do unto others as you would be done to by them is nowhere to be found.
    10) I’m not rich enough to go hide out in some pagan place from T-Day minus one on through Boxing Day.

  4. Propertius says:

    We celebrate thanksgiving on that third Thursday in November

    Fourth. ;-)

  5. Delphyne says:

    I’m not a fan of T-Day, either. Or most of the other “holidays.” I do make an exception for Hallowe’en because I love seeing those kids in costumes even if they’re high on sugar and have no idea of the history of Samhain.

    I turned down the usual invite from one of my sisters for T-Day because I can’t stand the manic noise or the forced camaraderie. I’m actually making stuffed shells with my spicy tomato sauce on Thursday – and maybe I will get some turkey sausage to go with it! Or maybe not. I’ll enjoy my own company that day.

    I really detest the christmas season, though – more than anything. It starts so early and seems to never end. Buy stuff! Screaming kids! Plastic junk! Everything is so loud. So garish. So overblown. It gives me a freaking headache.

    I’ve been without the internet and phone most of today – it’s nice to have them back so that I can check in here and hang out with real humans. Time for bed, though – nighty night!

  6. socalannie says:

    Haha! Great post and comments. We are also non traditional, and hate the retail holidays. I’m making a delicious Greek dinner on Thursday, and because I have a great coupon for an organic turkey, I am going to do a turkey dinner next week and invite my fav relatives. For most of my adult life, I did turkey on the day after Thanksgiving because my Dad (and some of the rest of my fam) worked at a food bank on that day, so we had our big dinner the next day.

  7. NW Luna says:

    Actually, most of modern xmas these days is a twist of many pagan traditions.

    Just imagine life in a place with no artificial lights. Sunlight and starlight and moonlight. Days growing shorter, nights longer, temperatures colder. Then …. one night, the longest night of the year, and your clan gathers to wait. Bonfires, mead, food, music, waiting …. a party for the turning of the seasons … you are all thinking about the next morning when the sun rises again, and that day which is a little longer, and a little longer yet the next day, and the night in turn will shorten each night.

    Call it ancestral memory, or vivid imagination — that scene is what I want, not TinselTown.

    • Delphyne says:

      Me, too, Luna – me, too!

    • dakinikat says:

      I love the tradition down here in Cajun country of lighting the bonfires on the Mississippi. We tend to keep holidays cheap and simple except for Carnival. 12th night is a bigger deal down here than xmas or thanksgiving. The city caters to tourists so most places are open anyway.

  8. ecocatwoman says:

    WOW! What a surprise when I visited this morning. While I love some extra paid time off, I despise “the season.” At this time of year I imagine I feel much like the poor geese force fed so their livers can be enlarged to become pate. We humans are force fed family, christianity/baby Jesus, consumerism/gifting, must mass slaughter million of turkeys and engorge ourselves with their flesh, the myth of happy pilgrims & “Indians”. And if we don’t have family, aren’t christian don’t have a bountiful supply of money to buy unwanted/unliked gifts, and/or don’t drool but instead mourn the sight of a roasted dead turkey then we’re made to feel like outcasts, mean spirited Debbie Downers harshing everyone’s mellow. Until reading your post, kat & the comments I have felt like a pariah. So happy to have found a group of like minded folks.

  9. Ellis says:

    If it’s so trivial to have this day off to spend it alone in peace or with family and friends, as most Americans do, then perhaps you’d be willing to trade places with the Walmart worker or Old Navy worker who’s doing a 12 to 15-hour shift that starts at 9 pm or midnight Thursday.

    Unlike emergency workers, who generally make considerably more money than retail employees and whose schedules often include money/compensatory time off for working holidays and overtime, retail employees will get no other consideration for having this holiday eroded.

  10. Fannie says:

    My best friends back home, would put on a free thanksgiving dinner for the community. For over 18 years I was the one in charge of decorating tables, and setting the fairgrounds hall up for the occasion – all done the day/night before. That stopped a couple of years ago, and I miss putting my energy into creating festive arrangements at the table. I took my family, mom was alive back then, and did one entire table line for my family, included was the daughter of the governor Oregon and her family………..but Mom’s table was done with Red Roses, she loved the roses, and the food and the people. When it was over we cleared the tables and had all the young children make christmas oraments out of photos (old and new)…………..and those went to
    to my Mom for her tree. Those are the times you remember, and Dak, like you I have a bitter taste about all the consumerism during the holiday. Lest is Best.

    To all my fellow sky dancers, I just want you to know that I am so grateful for being a part of this big family – you’ve all been important to me, and I’ve listened and learned, and loved you for who are.

  11. RalphB says:

    For a long time I felt weird or guilty for being “joyous” through the holiday season. Glad that’s over anyway. Thanks for being here!

  12. dailypuma says:

    I’ll try again just in case the first post I made got lost since you feel the need to moderate my posts. You can’t make change from within the blender when it comes to hype and holidays.