Photo by Josh Crow
Jan. 12 is National Kiss a Ginger Day. That’s right. There is a day dedicated to loving red heads. There’s a day dedicated to toilets (Nov. 19), lima beans (April 20) and two–yes, two–days dedicated to mutts (July 31 and Dec. 2). These are only a few of the many holidays that are, in some form or fashion, observed by people across the country and, in some cases, around the world. With all this celebrating, one begins to wonder: if all days are special, then are none of them special? What is the point of holidays to begin with?
The answer I found came to me in the teachings of a now-rare Christian denomination called the Quakers. They forbid their adherents from celebrating holidays because they believe that every day in a Christian life is a holy day and should be lived as such. Sectioning off certain days for holy practices would infer that all other days are “unholy.”
I still didn’t fully understand this concept until Mother’s Day this past year. My mom’s love language is “acts of service,” so when it comes to making Mother’s Day special, it’s hard to find gifts to give her, and opportunities to serve her don’t always come along. It was then that I figured it out. Mother’s Day isn’t the one time of the year that we do nice things for our moms. It’s the day that we are reminded of all that our moms do for us, and that all year long, we should be doing things to make them feel special.
Apply this to Christmas or Easter and the conclusion is the same. Easter Sunday isn’t (or at least, shouldn’t be) the only day that we celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection, and Christmas shouldn’t be the only time that we wish “Peace on Earth and good will to men!” These holidays should be reminders so that everyone who observes them can reflect on how they spent the past year and how they want to spend the next.
I ended up not celebrating Mother’s Day this year. Rather than fall into a mad panic next Mother’s Day trying to find a good gift at the last minute, I will use it as a reminder to continue making honoring my mom a habit every day.
Next time you celebrate a holiday, try this experiment: ask yourself why you are celebrating it and how you can bring that holiday into your daily life. If you celebrate Veterans Day, then remember to honor the veterans you encounter and be grateful for their sacrifice everyday. If you celebrate Independence Day, then remember to take pride and joy in exercising your freedom all year long. And don’t limit yourself to loving your significant other on Valentine’s Day or just petting your dog on National Pet Day. You’ll find yourself having so much more to celebrate come the holiday season.