The Crazy Evolution of Holidays

On Monday, we will celebrate Memorial Day in the US.  The day we honor our fallen soldiers.  And eat hot dogs and hamburgers.

I’m not kidding.  If you’ve read my last post, you know how important Memorial Day is to my family.  We have family members who have served in the Armed Forces in every generation since the American Revolution.  And, I’m sure, before that.

Michie Stadium, West Point

Yet we also go to barbecues (interesting side-note: that just autocorrected to 
“arabesque”), parades and picnics.

I don’t think my grandfather died on the battlefield in St. Mihiel, France so we could eat food grilled outside.  Just sayin’.

But it isn’t just Memorial Day.  And I’m sure that other countries have their own version of holidays which are celebrated in bizarre, originally unintended ways.

Christmas in Chappaqua

Christmas.  I was raised in a Christian household.  We went to Mass to celebrate Christ’s birthday and then couldn’t wait to open the presents under the Christmas tree.  I’m pretty sure that evergreens aren’t indigenous to Bethlehem.  And Christ wasn’t delivered in the stable by Santa Claus.

Easter.  I’ve written about this before.  Christ is risen but not by rabbits laying colored eggs.  And I seriously doubt there were colorful baskets filled with chocolates in Calvary.

Independence Day.  Instead of calling relatives in Ireland and Scotland and saying “Haha we got rid of them,” we once again eat hot dogs and hamburgers. Take that England!

Thanksgiving.  We pretty much do what the Pilgrims did, just with a lot more food plus a lot of football.  And we do give thanks for the blessings we’ve received.  But eat the meal in 10 minutes so to better focus on the parade and then football.

Upon reflection, we seem to have an inordinate amount of parades.  Or do all countries do that?

Veterans Day.  More parades and yay we get a day off of work.  It’s a little too cold where we live for hot dogs and hamburgers on Veterans Day.

Valentine’s Day.  No parades.  I don’t even remember the origin of Valentine’s Day.  It’s a total field day for florists and greeting card companies.  We get our self-esteem by the number, if any, of the gifts and cards received.  Oh and more chocolates.  And devastation if you don’t “have” a Valentine.  Who decided that on February 14th people should feel like loved ones or losers?  Let’s get rid of this one.

Birthdays.  I’m biased on this one because I’ve given birth four times.  But I think the mothers should be celebrated on each kid’s birthday.  They owe their existence to us and we do all the work bringing them into the world.

What a strange country I live in.  Things are not as they seem.

The bizarre evolution of holidays in America.



About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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15 Responses to The Crazy Evolution of Holidays

  1. Almost Iowa says:

    Every year, I celebrate Independence Day on September 3rd. It is the day I retired.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. So few people really understand the true meaning of the holidays we have – sometimes I think we just need to be honest and say, “This is a holiday because we all need a long weekend to do fun stuff and eat hot dogs.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    I’m with you on getting rid of Valentine’s Day. In fact, my husband and I did long ago. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ann Coleman says:

    I agree that most holidays are celebrated in ways that have nothing to do with their original purpose. For some, like Christmas and Easter, it probably started as a way to include people who didn’t share in the religion that started the holidays, but who knows? And I have always wondered why we have so many parades, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lisakunk says:

    Amen to that celebration of mothers in kids’ birthdays.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. gingerbread76 says:

    I’ve never understood why people who don’t believe in God celebrate religious holidays. Especially Easter.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brian says:

    Hi Barb, I think Valentine’s Day was invented by Geofrey Chaucer and then hijacked by commerce. I wrote a little piece about it back in February: Here in the UK we perhaps have one parade a year and while hotdogs aren’t so much our thing, I do like a barbecue every once in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. stabassum803 says:

    Agree dear..too much celebration of days like Valentine day is wastage of money and yes some times insulting..celebrating kids birthday like mothers celebration is nice idea.

    Liked by 1 person

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