Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holidays Neverending

With Christmas behind us and New Year ahead of us, I'm pretty much holidayed out. Still, it seems to me that we're missing a few obvious holidays -- days that would celebrate something that deserves it, or days that might just, against all the odds, give us a lift.

First, some days I'd like to transplant from other cultures.

Japan celebrates Girls' Day and Boys' Day, and I think both are worthy of consideration. Any day that celebrates kids is okay by me. And I especially like doing it one sex at a time, so both sexes get equal applause without everyone getting all twittery about how boys get more attention than girls or vice-versa. It would be nice to honor boys and girls in the spring, say in April and May, since that's the most optimistic season.

Thailand and many other Asian countries observe Buddha's birthday, and we should make make room for it on our calendars as well. Actually Visakha Bucha, as it's called in Thailand (Hanamatsuri in Japan), celebrates both the birth and the enlightenment of the founder of the only major world religion that has not killed millions of people in the name of God. The celebration is marked by kindness to others, especially the less fortunate. Like Christmas, it's an arbitrary date, chosen much later than the event it commemorates. Unlike Christmas, it's a floating festival, since the date is determined by the lunar calendar, but it's usually in early May.

That's a lot of spring holidays, so let's turn to summer and the first of my new holidays,
Global Golf Pants Day. No article of clothing is sillier than golf pants, so why not give them a day of their own? Millions of people out on the streets, wearing the worst golf pants they can find. A parallel YouTube golf pants film festival. A commemorative Victoria's Secret Golf Pants catalog. Awards in appropriate categories, such as Most Deafening Color Combination and Most Perilous Plaid.

In fall, at the beginning of the television season, it would be appropriate to remember the fallen prime-time warriors of yesteryear on Canceled Series Memorial Day. People could dress as the characters in their favorite extinct programs; they could rehearse short scenes with friends and, for a small donation to a good cause like the World Federation for the Furtherance of Laughter, they could get little laugh track boxes -- just a speaker with three buttons for guffaw, chortle, and anticipatory giggle. Think of it -- for one day a year, New York could actually be like "Seinfeld" and Los Angeles could go back to the palmy days of "77 Sunset Strip," the worst show nobody remembers.

And for winter, at least in colder parts of the world, we could do Anime Snowplay Day, on which children build frosty tributes to their favorite animated character. Some Japanese kids have gotten a jump on us with this snowy "Totoro" from Miyazaki's animated masterpiece of the same name. I'd personally love to turn on the news one night and discover animated figures glistening all over the landscape.

Any other suggestions? My only criterion is that it should make us feel better, even if only for a day.


  1. Most adults would be happy to have a day of thanksgiving celebrating our good fortune that no one we have met since we were 30 need ever see a picture of us when we were 13.

    Such a day could be celebrated as the new academic year begins, engendering deep gratitude that we survived middle school and acquired significant coping skills, especially those among us who were cursed with braces.

    Such a holiday would bring all people together, united in the knowledge that no one looks good in middle school.

  2. I'd personally love to turn on the news one night and discover animated figures (of corporate-owned obstructionist politicians who've set fire to themselves) glistening all over the landscape.

    I'd definitely feel better, and probably for a lot longer than a day.

  3. Judith "DJ" AndersonDecember 28, 2009 at 1:46 PM

    Oh, dear! What does it say about me if I admit I watched (and liked) 77 Sunset Strip, "the worst show nobody remembers"?

    Love the Global Golf Pants and Buddha's Birthday suggestions.

  4. Hi, everybody --

    Beth, all we need is a name for the day. It's a day of thanks, and for a good cause -- I never had braces, but my hair alone would be enough to exile me from polite 21st-century society. I looked like the little kid on the Reddi-Wip package.

    Phil, I'm with you, although I'd prefer to see them burning hand in hand with the lobbyists and CEOs who bought them. It'd be brighter, too.

    And DJ -- It shows you're one of those people whose immune system doesn't go into emergency mode at the sight of Edd Byrnes. Mine always did, although maybe if he'd been wearing golf pants . . .

  5. I didn't have braces either, Tim, but I got glasses in the 7th grade (at which time I learned that there were individual leaves on trees). Put the glasses with the navy jumper,white blouse, white knee socks, and clip on string tie that was the uniform of kids in Catholic schools in the 60's. (The nuns are gone but the uniform lives on in Catholic schools today).

    You are the wordsmith so I leave the name to you and anyone else who agrees with the sentiment behind the day.

  6. I was with you until you got to the golf pants proposal. Down with pants!
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

  7. Oh, Peter -- the proprietor of one of the most urbane and intelligent of all blogs goes to "Down with pants"? Am I somehow responsible for this?

    And, Beth, I thought I was the only one whose first day with glasses was highlighted by the revelation about trees having individual leaves. I can still remember where I was and how cloudy it was.

  8. OK, up with pants!
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"