Monday, October 27, 2014

Holidays we need

I would like the day after Thanksgiving to be a national holiday, and I would like the same to apply to Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas ("Boxing Day" in the UK). On the other hand, as a former business owner, I am adverse to increasing the number of mandatory holidays. What three existing holidays would I sacrifice in favor of the ones I would prefer? As a child, I very much appreciated November 11, which we knew as "Armistice Day". I was born almost ten years after the end of WWI, but it was fresh in the minds of my elders. Britain had lost many of its young adults, particularly males of the "officer class". That day is known as "Veteran's Day" in the US, of course, and I'm certainly not opposed to honoring those who have served our country. I would combine the celebration of the service with those who sacrifice their lives, "Memorial Day", We don't think much of Columbus day in California, and my guess is that many young people could not tell you the date on which it is observed. Except for those working for federal, state, and local governments, it is not widely observed. The business world dislikes it because no mail is delivered that day. Efforts to honor Leif Erikson and "Indigenous People Day" instead have drawn little traction and should go. Finding a third day to drop is somewhat harder. The relatively recent combination of "President's Day", to honor our two most famous presidents is not a day that I would sacrifice. I am left with a relatively recent creation the day that honors Martin Luther King, Jr. Adding this as an extra holiday displeased the world of business, and perhaps that attitude was reinforced by racism and by conservatives who complained about his womanizing. If we were to eliminate that holiday, I am sure those who do so would be accused, in turn, of racism. Oh well, perhaps the best answer is to allow the workforce to go home a little early on Christmas Eve instead...

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