It's 2011, a new year, which means, the opportunity to celebrate all our favorite holidays again. But...my most recent post and the comments have informed me that some people hate certain holidays. More than I hate coconut, domestic cats, and bad hair days. Which ones are they?
3. VALENTINE'S DAY
Why People Hate It:
Every year, I hear theories about how this holiday was created by:
A. Hallmark to create revenue
B. Happily married women who want to make single women feel left out
People hate Valentine's Day because they perceive it as a time to shine on their loneliness and/or because they don't like the idea of spending money to show someone how much you care. They argue that if you love someone, why not show it every day? Why does their need to be a holiday to commemorate your affection?
Why It's Not So Bad: V-Day creates an opportunity/platform for people to be romantic/mushy without being perceived as soft, and gives many emotionally reserved people a specific time to express their love/affection. Plus kind words, affection, and chocolate are rarely ever a bad idea! And it's been around for centuries; it wasn't created by Hallmark. Read more here!
Why People Hate It: Christmas gets a lot of flack for a myriad of reasons. Many decry its (similar to V-Day), heightened commercialism, its pagan roots, its Christian roots, and its crimes to reindeer. Poor Christmas.
Why It's Not So Bad: Regardless of the several pagan customs that have been attached to Christmas, Christians recognize Christmas as the celebration of the birth of Jesus. In secular, non-Christian households however, Christmas can also represent positive themes including gift-giving to loved ones, time with family and friends, and peace on earth. If you're personally offended by Christmas, then take it as an opportunity to give to others, volunteer (you're off anyway!), or spend time with your family. Either way, it's a win-win!
Why People Hate It: Traditionally, we're taught that the first Thanksgiving dinner was a meal shared by Pilgrims and Native Americans, who shared their food with hungry Europeans. Thanksgiving Haters have a great point. Commemorating a meeting between the violent, hostile and racist/culturalist/imperialist./everythingelseist New Englanders and the peaceful, friendly Native Americans is barbaric. (Sidenote: The previous sentence contains dramatic generalization, but you catch my drift.) As we all know, the European arrival in America was nothing but tragic for Native Americans/American Indians. So why should we sit down to a dinner and pay homage to these horrible events?
Why Its Not So Bad: I don't eat turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, dressing, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, or ham so you'd think Thanksgiving wouldn't be that important to me. However, in a country where the American Dream includes the urge to keep up with the Jones' and want More, More, More, I embrace a holiday that encourages us to be thankful for what we have. Thanksgiving is one of the few times of year I get to see my family, eat a hearty meal, and be purposeful about reflecting on what I'm grateful for. When else are we expected to literally attempt to count our blessings? Your turkey dinner and acknowledgment of the awesome things you have isn't going to cause a Native American to be scalped somewhere. I recommend for those offended by this holiday's origins, they teach others the ugly side of American history, often swept under the table, but also thank the people in their lives for what we are lucky to have.
Other Hated Holidays include Columbus Day, Halloween, and Martin Luther King Day. I say research them all, and do your best to find the silver lining. Because everyone can use a day off every now and then.
What about you? Do you hate any of the holidays listed? Do you love them? Share a word or three.