Holidays are a time for families to gather and reflect on the ideas that they’ve been putting off for the other 364 days of the year. Christmas and Hanukkah let the almost spiritual feel as though they have some real faith, and Thanksgiving makes families that hate each other paint masks on and sit down to a tense meal together.
Everything up to this point has been hyperbole, but, as most of what gets put on Questions, Bar Answers pertains to the generalized view of situations as put forth by society, this post will follow that vein. I want to make you, reader, aware of what I perceive to be the most widespread façade in human existence, holidays. If we dig past the generic definition for holiday that says it is merely a day where no work is done, we find that they are meant as days for reflection on a plethora of ideas and topics. I don’t like that idea mainly because any attempt to focus more acutely on an idea means we expect to be able to. To parallel the old band adage, “If you can lift your toes more when I ask you to, you never had them high enough,” my opinion on holidays is that, “If you need a day to let someone know you care about them, you never cared about them enough.”
Allow me to explain; in the Christian faith, Christmas is a time to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the human third of the spiritual Triptych. The question I have for my Christian brethren is why should we close the banks and mark up the costs of seasonal foods for a celebration that actually takes place on the date of the pagan winter solstice [Wikipedia, second paragraph]? If Christianity is true (which I believe it is, but that is an entirely different essay), then reflecting on its tenets because the calendar tells one to isn’t going to grant salvation; that would be a vain attempt to make spiritual hollowness. Everyone jokes about the only time your average American attends church is for Easter, Christmas, funerals, and weddings. Anyone who is even just aware of basic Christian theology knows that God doesn't want a show of faith; He wants actual belief and action.
Spiritual and familial sentiments, if they are genuine, cannot possibly be contained to a set day of the year. Thanksgiving is just an expensive custom that families who aren’t tight-knit despise and happy families find to be a stressful week of meal and travel planning. The history books tell us about the pilgrims and the Indians if we care to learn about it; we don’t need a day to remind us of that either. Patriotic holidays are a time for the uninvolved American to say he loves a country he knows nothing about. On Thanksgiving, July 4th, and Presidents Day, the majority of people still won't know how much of the budget military spending is, and if we declared independence from Great Britain.
I’m not trying to abolish your work or school holidays. Actually, I take that back, if we removed the extensive breaks in the school year, classes could be done in maybe 4 and a half months, leaving the rest of the year for students to learn a trade, start a band (I've tried that), or to continue the lethargy they practiced during the school year. So, yes, I’m trying to abolish your work and school holidays. When people realize that it’s more important to be a bearable family unit every day, and to worship their respective deities in every moment of their life, I feel like the world would run smoothly and we would all be much more honest with ourselves.
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