When can we get a hol­i­day from the hol­i­days?

The Star Democrat - - OPINION - JIM MULLEN Con­tact Jim Mullen at mullen. [email protected]

One Fa­ther’s Day, when I was 6 years old, I asked my dad why there was no such thing as “Kids’ Day,” and he said, “Be­cause ev­ery day is kids’ day.” And that’s my feel­ing about Pres­i­dents Day. Ev­ery day is Pres­i­dents Day. Be­sides, I’m not quite sure if not get­ting my mail is go­ing to make me think any bet­ter of them.

Are we re­ally in dan­ger of for­get­ting about Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton and Abe Lin­coln if we don’t have a hol­i­day once a year? And what about all the other pres­i­dents? Who can for­get what Mil­lard Fill­more did for his coun­try? I sure can’t. Be­cause I never knew what he did in the first place. But it must be right up there with all the things Zachary Tay­lor and Franklin Pierce did that are so well re­mem­bered.

Of course, most peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate get­ting a day of f work for what­ever rea­son, but why can’t we just call it that? Work­ers’ Day Off, in­stead of pre­tend­ing we’re hon­or­ing Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton by buy­ing a mat­tress for half off?

The rea­son I’m tar­get­ing Pres­i­dents Day is that we re­ally ought to start or­ga­niz­ing our hol­i­days bet­ter. Of the 10 fed­eral hol­i­days, Vet­er­ans Day, Thanks­giv­ing, Christ­mas and New Year’s Day all fall within seven weeks of one an­other. But af­ter Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Jan­uary and Pres­i­dents Day in Fe­bru­ary, the next hol­i­day is at the end of May. We’ve just had six hol­i­days in three months.

And when the hol­i­days fall on a Thurs­day or a Tues­day, a lot of peo­ple take the day be­fore or af­ter the week­end of f, too. When you add in un­of­fi­cial hol­i­days like Black Fri­day, Su­per Bowl Sun­day and Valen­tine’s Day, it’s amaz­ing that we ever get any­thing done.

Let’s think out­side the box on this. What would be the harm if we moved Thanks­giv­ing to the se­cond Thurs­day in March? What if we changed New Year’s Day to May 1? It would space out fed­eral hol­i­days through­out the year in­stead of jam­ming them all up at the end and be­gin­ning of the year.

It’s not as if it’s go­ing to hurt any­body to move Thanks­giv­ing out of Novem­ber; it might ac­tu­ally help. In­stead of spend­ing your Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day in an air­por t due to weather de­lays around the coun­try, mov­ing it to a more pleas­ant time of year would be a boon to ev­ery­one. Dates are im­por­tant, but so is com­mon sense. Trust me, the Pil­grims ain’t gonna care. And it would co­in­cide with the an­nual Spring Break Binge Drink­ing hol­i­day, which is al­ways fun for the whole fam­ily — if your whole fam­ily is be­tween the ages of 18 and 24. Un­like au­towork­ers, cashiers, ho­tel maids and ditchdig­gers, col­lege kids work hard. They need a two-week break a few months af­ter their last two-week break be­fore they get the next three months off.

If you’ve ever seen the shiv­er­ing crowd watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve in Times Square, you may have said to your­self, “What is wrong with those peo­ple? Are they in­sane?” And, of course, they are. They should all be get­ting some kind of help. But if you saw that same crowd on a balmy May day, wait­ing for a shoe to drop (yes, we should change it from a gi­ant ball to a big shoe; it just makes more sense), it’d be eas­ier to un­der­stand the party at­mos­phere. And it’s not that far-fetched. A lot of the world cel­e­brates May Day al­ready. We would put our spin on it.

Would Colum­bus be up­set if we moved his day to early Au­gust? It seems as if half the coun­try wants to stop call­ing it “Colum­bus Day” any­way. Af­ter all, the peo­ple he ran into here had dis­cov­ered Amer­ica at least 12,000 years be­fore he did. Why doesn’t that count?

I know, I know, these are tra­di­tions. The funny thing about tra­di­tions is that they all had be­gin­nings. Why can’t they have end­ings?

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