Friday, July 3, 2015

It's a Holiday! (Or Is It?)

Here in America, we like our holidays. We like them a lot. Why? Well, for one thing, we don't have to work on our holidays.

I'm not sure why, but in America we usually only get two weeks of vacation, as opposed to six weeks in most European countries. And we often don't take all of the two weeks we do get.

That's why our holidays are so important. Because those are days that everyone gets to take off! (Except for those that don't.)

Our holidays are so important that, even when they fall on a weekend, we insist on celebrating them on a weekday, too. That's what is happening right now.

This year, the 4th of July falls on a Saturday. Most people already have Saturday off (except for those that don't), and could celebrate the holiday without missing a day of work. The problem is, we actually want to miss a day of work. So, the vast majority of people will get Friday, July 3rd off of work. (Except for those that don't.)

When this happens, we get a case of holiday confusion. Do we celebrate the 4th of July on the 4th or on the 3rd? We have the 3rd off for the holiday, so should we light off the fireworks now, or wait until the 4th? It can be a bit confusing.

Of course, it's even more confusing when the holiday falls on a Sunday. (Especially here in Mormonland Utah.) Not only is there confusion over whether to celebrate on the actual holiday or not, but when the holiday falls on a Sunday there is confusion as to which day is the weekday to take off and celebrate, the Monday after or the Friday before. And if there is a parade for the 4th of July, is it on Sunday the 4th, Monday the 5th, or Saturday the 3rd?

What usually happens is we'll have fireworks going off on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday! And that's fine if you are talking about the big, city-sponsored fireworks shows. Those fireworks are great! But, it's not so good if you are talking about the inconsiderate neighbors lighting off firecrackers at one in the morning for four straight nights.

Professional fireworks show: Great!
Neighbor shooting these off at 1:17 AM: Not so great!

Halloween is even worse than the 4th of July when it falls on a Sunday. Why? Well, Halloween involves kids and costumes and candy and people knocking on your door. So, when Halloween falls on a Sunday, there will be kid costumes at school on Friday, some trick-or-treaters on Saturday, some trick-or-treaters on Sunday, and possibly more school parties and/or trick-or-treaters on Monday.

That's a lot of times trying to stuff your kids into their Halloween costumes. And that's a lot of candy you better have ready in that bowl by the door!

That's one of the big advantages of holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day. They are always on a Monday. There is something to be said for the dependability of an always-Monday holiday!

Of course, there are those who have to work on the holiday, no matter what day it occurs or what day the government says we should take off for it. Police, fire fighters and hospital workers are all necessary. Gas station workers, store clerks and restaurant staff are a bit less necessary, but still usually have to work holidays. I always feel bad for those who have to work the holidays.

I once had a local truck driving job where I always had to work holidays. I never understood why it was so imperative to get the shampoo and toothpaste to the grocery store on Memorial Day. What, it couldn't wait until Tuesday?

So, if you have the day off, enjoy it! Fire up that grill and celebrate the 4th on the 3rd. Or celebrate the 4th on the 4th. Or celebrate the 4th on the 3rd and the 4th. Just be done with your fireworks by midnight, please.

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