Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Holidays!

As bloggers everywhere write their obligatory “I’m thankful for the following” lists, I decided I’d forgo the entry meant merely to tout your year’s accomplishments.  I mean, do I need to mention I co-write and produce a musical to critical acclaim? ( still got it in, YES!)
Instead I wanted to write about the expression, “Happy Holidays.”  Because NOBODY else is thinking of doing that.  
“Yeah Kev, why don’t people just say ‘Merry Christmas’?” 
Ummm…yeah.  That’s not really what I meant.  
In this ever growing ugly world, where we are all one misunderstood gesture away from being shot in the face, I get why people don’t want to “assume” by saying “Merry Christmas.”  Oh, also…it’s NOT FUCKING CHRISTMAS YET!
That said, I don’t mind someone saying “Happy Holidays” to me as opposed to assuming I celebrate Christmas.  I do.  But how would they know that?  
Likewise, I don’t mind someone saying “God Bless You” when I sneeze, as opposed to assuming I’m not into Religion.  I’m not.  I’d never spurned a person’s kind words or gesture, because it just might make this world grow uglier a little slower.

But NONE of this is the point for my writing of “Happy Holidays.”  Instead I am curious, which holidays are you wishing me happiness towards?  Obviously there are the BIG three:  
Christmas.  It’s still 28 days away  (that’s a rehab stint),
Chanukah or Hanukkah.  No one really knows how to spelling it, which means I probably should have been Jewish ( terrible speller)
Thanksgiving.  Or as it is sometimes aptly known, “The Day We Gave Indians Smallpox Blankets In Exchange For Teaching Us How To Live Off Their Land.” (Man, that’s a mouth full)

But there are OTHER Holidays that fall within the “Holiday” spectrum of November 9th- December 30th/31st.  My guess is their inclusion is why MANY conservative types rail against saying “Happy Holidays” as opposed to Merry Christmas.
“I don’t mind wish my Jewish friends a Happy Hanukkah, but there are probably Muslim holidays in there too!”
I know.  We get it.  You’re a dick.
First, allow me tell you how I came up with my timeframe parameters:  I firmly believe, no Holiday should be celebrated until after Election Day.  
“Kevin, isn’t your birthday usually around Election Day?  And can’t this be interpreted as a selfish way for you to keep the focus on you a little longer?”
Ummm…yeah.  But if we do start the first week of November, why not back up to include Halloween under the “Happy Holidays” umbrella as well?
SIDE NOTE:  While trick or treating with my nephew, I wished a woman a “Happy Halloween.”  She returned the gratitude with candy and by saying, “Happy Holidays” to me.  I laughed at her.  And then threw the Good N’ Plentys at her face…cause those things are fucking gross!
“OK Kevin, I concede that Halloween should NOT be covered under the ‘Happy Holidays’ brand.  As no one has a problem saying ‘Happy Halloween’ except maybe Brits with a Cockney accent who say, ‘‘appy ‘alloween’.   But why only go until December 30th/31st?  Shouldn’t this cover New Year’s?  And what’s the deal with it being 30th/31st anyway?”
OK.  Allow me to address this point by point.
  1. Thank You
  2. Please don’t make fun of the Brits.  They are our allies in most of the world’s problems and more importantly, they gave us Doctor Who
  3. Because, similar to how you point out “no one has a problem saying ‘Happy Halloween’,” they don’t have a problem saying “Happy New Years” either as it appears on our Roman/Greco calendar .
  4. Good question.
Right or wrong, we have stretched the Christmas season to last from the second you get up from the Thanksgiving table to New Years Eve.  Personally, I view Christmas like a rollercoaster.  The buildup lasts FAR longer than the actual event.  That said, I think Christmas ends the first time you forget to turn on your Christmas lights, which is either 12/30 or 12/31.  It just happens, folks.

So what are all of the holidays that are supported by the catch all, “Happy Holidays”?  Here is a list of Holidays celebrated in the US during that timeframe:  

11/28 Thanksgiving – National Holiday
11/28 Hanukkah (begins) – Jewish Holiday
11/29 American Indian Heritage Day – State Holiday in Maryland
11/29 Robert E. Lee’s Birthday – State Holiday in Georgia
11/29 President’s Day – State Holiday in New Mexico
11/29 Black Friday – State Holiday in 17 states
11/29 Lincoln’s Birthday* – State Holiday in West Virginia & Indiana
*This is bizarre as Lincoln’s birthday is 2/12.  However this was done to give state worker’s a day off for the day after Thanksgiving.
12/1 First Day of Advent – Christina Holiday
12/2 Cyber Monday – Observance
12/5 Last Day of Hanukkah – Jewish Holiday
12/6 St. Nicholas Day – Observance
12/7 Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day – Observance
12/8 Feast of the Immaculate Conception – Christian Holiday
12/12 Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe – Observation
12/17 Pan American Aviation Day – Observance
12/17 Wright Brothers Day – Observance
12/21 December Solstice – Season
12/24 Washington’s Birthday* – State Holiday in Indiana
*It’s actually 2/22…again, weird.
12/24 Christmas Eve – Observance, Christian Holiday.  Also, state holiday in:  Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin
12/25 Christmas Day – National Holiday/Christian
12/26 Day After Christmas – State Holiday in Kansas, North Carolina, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Texas  (Clever name guys!  It’s also Boxing Day in Canada, but the US barely recognizes Canada as a nation, surely they won’t recognize their dumb holidays)
12/26 Kwanzaa – Observance

So next time you wish someone a Happy Holiday, just remember, what you’re really saying. 

“Have a ‘PANTASTIC’ Pan American Aviation Day!”  

Which sounds stupid, even with a Cockney accent.