This is the time of the year when Hallmark executives are giddy with joy. Christmas and Hanukkah are in the wings waiting for Thanksgiving to make a graceful exit. This can only mean that we are entering the season of gift-giving and, yes, sending cards. But you might be surprised to know how many other, lesser known holidays are recognized in this country and, yes, Hallmark conveniently has a card for each one of them, too.
Let’s see now, did you know there is a National Doctor’s Day on March 30, Earth Day on April 22, National Nurses Day on May 6, Sisters Day on Aug. 5 and Friendship Day on the 7th? And you wouldn’t want to miss Citizenship Day on Sept. 17, Clergy Appreciation Day and National Children’s Day on Oct. 9 and Sweetest Day on Oct. 15. I don’t know what that is, either. But Americans are equal opportunity celebrants and, therefore, we honor groundhogs and grandparents too, just in different months. I think this is the perfect time to get Hallmark on board with a few new holiday ideas of my own.
For instance, I come from a family of dog lovers. I remember that every dog we ever had was considered as much a part of the family as any human was. Pierre, the family’s French poodle, was king in our house, not because of his pedigree or the war chest of clothes we bought for him, but because he was a master manipulator of my mother.
When that dog was in her arms, she was putty in his paw. Pierre knew the drill. Give mom a kiss, get a milkbone. Give mom a kiss, get another milkbone. Because of our dog, we quickly learned that in life, one paw washes another. Ladies and gentlemen, I suggest a National Dog Appreciation Day. To all of you ‘cat people’, you’ll have to do your own lobbying.
Another holiday idea that comes to mind has to do with living in New Jersey. More specifically, driving in New Jersey. For everyone who has ever been tailgated or paralyzed with fear as another driver ran a four-way stop, or if you have been cut off, or flipped off, this holiday idea is for you. Same goes for those who have suffered behind a driver who forgot to turn off his right signal for three miles. To celebrate our courage and stamina on the road, I suggest a Driver Survivor Day. I also support a bumper sticker that might say, “Honk if you’re confident you’ll get home in one piece today!”
Now I actually love holidays, even the overblown ones, because they give me something else to think about besides my job, my family or my bills. And, like old friends who return to visit, holidays often remind us of the past. For those who want to forget about the past, welcome to hell. But I look forward to the surge of patriotism in every July. I am especially thankful in November and I am swallowed up by the sights and sounds of December, too.
I also buy into the fantasy that families can sit down with civility to a holiday dinner in the same way that I believe there really can be peace on earth. But on Valentine’s Day, when my knight in tarnished armor doesn’t declare his undying love for me or forgoes the overpriced roses, well, I just enjoy the chocolates.
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