Jan 01, 2014

The word holiday comes from the Old English word haligdaeg, which means “holy day.” It originally referred only to special religious days. Thanks Wikipedia. They are so good to me. Holy day, special religious days, blah, blah blah. You know the word is fucking stupid if that’s the origin. I don’t care much about holidays.

Recently, I decided that most holidays are just days that your calendar has told you to hang out with your family. I mean, really, that’s pretty much it. So I figured I would just go through the 2014 calendar year—month by month—and give you my thoughts about particular holidays. If you don’t live in America and don’t see a holiday for your country mentioned here, it’s because my research didn’t lead me to it, and/or I am unfamiliar with that holiday. Sorry about that. That also goes for American holidays that go unmentioned. They either didn’t show up on my radar or they seemed highly unimportant. But this should be easy enough.

January 1st is New Year’s Day. I don’t have much of a problem with this one. Everyone traditionally lies around and does nothing. That works for me. Just watch TV and eat food that is bad for you. In general, be extremely lazy. A lot of people make resolutions. Most of those last about a few weeks. Why bother? If you really wanna make some changes in your life, why do you have to wait until the first of the year to do so? Just do it whenever you’re ready.

January 20th is Martin Luther King Day. Unless you’re a racist or an idiot—which go hand in hand—you don’t have anything to bitch about. Like New Year’s Day, it’s a federal holiday. That means that anyone with a government job is off work, banks are closed, as well as schools. A lot of people win here. And it’s always on a Monday, which gives everyone a three-day weekend. The dude definitely deserves his own day. He was an important figure in this country’s recent history. If you don’t think so, just stop reading now. And breathing. Definitely stop breathing. And don’t worry, no one is gonna miss you.

February 2nd is Groundhog Day. Not really a holiday. It’s a good movie, but does anyone really care about whether or not Phil sees his shadow? I don’t pay attention to it; however, it is pretty funny that so many people get geared up for this day.

February 14th is Valentine’s Day. Whatever. Do we really need a specific day to tell our significant others how much they mean to us? Just do it regularly and you won’t have to make a big deal out of this one. Hallmark already has enough money. I do like what I have heard about White Castle though: they have table service and champagne on Valentine’s Day. I haven’t seen it for myself, but I might have to take my lady there this year. I’ve only had a girlfriend once on Valentine’s Day. We made a shitty attempt at a DiGiorno pizza and then went to a house party. I’m quite the romantic. Al Capone was also a big fan of February 14th. Especially in 1929. The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre was very romantic. Mr. Capone had a handful of bad dudes lined up in a garage and they got riddled with bullets. I’ve been to the scene of that one. Pretty cool.

February 17th is Presidents’ Day. Nothing special here. It’s another federal holiday that’s always on a Monday. Another three-day weekend for everyone. My birthday is two days later, so a lot of years it falls on the same day. That meant being off school on my birthday when I was a kid. Pretty fucking cool. Thanks to all the dudes whose faces are on U.S. currency and also to most of the dudes who have lived in the White House. Not all of them, of course. I’m not sending any shouts out to either Bush. Saddam didn’t do anything to them, so why were they out to get him? February 17 is also Michael Jordan’s birthday. Viva The Airman!

March 4th is Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. No holidays are shown on the March 2014 calendar, but I know better. March 1st will be the big party in Saint Louis. The Saturday before Fat Tuesday will be off the motherfucking chain in Soulard. There will be a huge parade, along with a giant party in the streets after that. Get drunk and throw some beads at those who like to show their breasts.

March 17th is Saint Patrick’s Day. The people who run must not be of Irish descent and/or big drinkers. Anyone who knows anything knows that Saint Patrick’s Day is rad. It’s not a legal holiday anywhere in the United States. Well guess what? Fuck the United States. And the boats they sailed in on. Get drunk, eat corned beef and hash, and pass out somewhere.

April 1st is April Fools’ Day. Another non-holiday. I don’t ever really get into the action, but I do enjoy hearing about or seeing a good prank pulled on somebody. Why not?

April 7th is the Saint Louis Cardinals home opener. This wasn’t on the website that I’m doing my research on—and I know most of you don’t care—but it is a holiday in Saint Louis. March 31st is their first regular season game, but the first home game is the important date. People either take off work early or just take off altogether. It’s a Monday. Fuck that work week. There’s a huge pre-game pep rally: Clydesdales, convertibles, Budweiser. It’s a fucking blast. Fuck the Reds.

April 20th is Easter Sunday. The Zombie Jesus woke up from his long weekend of sleeping (he was tired from hanging on that cross), and rolled away the stone that was blocking the entrance to the cave where he was getting some Z’s. I actually went to Catholic school for like thirteen years or so. I’m very familiar with the “story.” Little kids wake up to find that The Easter Bunny has left them some gifts and then they go look for Easter Eggs. It’s fine for them I guess, but for adults it’s all pretty stupid. If you have kids, you can probably deal with the stupidity of a holiday based on fiction. But I don’t care much about wasting one of my Sundays by going to my parents’ house and eating gross ham sandwiches. I don’t like Peeps, but I do like getting down on Cadbury Eggs and chocolate rabbits.

May 5th is Cinco de Mayo. This ain’t Mexico, but I do like to get drunk. Margaritas, tacos, enchiladas. It’s just an all-around good party day. It’s a border country, so that’s close enough.

May 11th is Mother’s Day. She decided against that abortion and has put up with your stupid fucking ass all these years, so do something nice for her. Flowers or a card or money you owe her for your cell phone, because you’re on a family plan with her. That sounds familiar. And if you are a mother, then take this day to do absolutely nothing. Congratulations to all moms!

May 26th is Memorial Day. Another federal holiday on a Monday. And it’s the official start of summer. Barbecuing, pools open, you can finally wear white and not be a social outcast, all that good stuff. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it’s a time to remember all those who died while serving in the armed forces. Most people celebrate the whole weekend by going camping or barbecuing multiple times. It usually means school is out soon, if not already. It’s a pretty good holiday. I like to break out some of my patriotic garb and look ridiculous. As St. Louis Blues TV broadcaster Darren Pang says, “Why wouldn’t ya?”

June 15th is Father’s Day. Your old man hasn’t killed you yet, so thank him by buying him some beer or barbecuing for him. I usually get my dad tickets to a baseball game. I drive us there and he usually buys the beers and hot dogs. Not a bad deal. If you have gotten at least one past the goalie, treat yourself by doing whatever the fuck you want on this day. Here’s to you, dads!

July 4th is Independence Day. This is one of my favorite holidays of the year. Fireworks, barbecue, getting drunk! It’s really a great day. Like I said earlier, fuck the United States, but the Fourth of July is awesome. Thanks for signing that Declaration, boys! This is a federal holiday and it falls on a Friday this year. Three-day weekend! Way tight. Barbecue some shit, blow some shit up, and get drunk. That’s American!

Nothing happens in August. It’s hot and stupid, and I wish summer would just go away!

September 1st is Labor Day. Summer is over. It’s a federal holiday on a Monday. Everybody pretty much celebrates the two holidays the same way. It’s your last chance to go camping or swimming or barbecue a bunch of stuff. School is back in session. Lame sauce. Don’t wear white after this day. You will get looked at funny on the streets. You have one last time over this weekend to wear some stupid-looking patriotic gear. Ahh, long live the American labor movement. I like to say all weekend long that, “I’ve earned it.”

September 7th is Week 1 in the NFL. Like opening day in baseball, this isn’t really a holiday, but NFL fans celebrate like it is. I mark Week 1 on my calendar months ahead of time. It’s always the Sunday after Labor Day Weekend. Get your TVs out, your antennas, and converter boxes. It’s time to tune in some bonecrush.

October 13th is Columbus Day. Really? The guy didn’t even discover North America. The closest he got was The Bahamas and Cuba. North America is where the United States is. So why do we celebrate this guy? You got me. Leif Ericson found North America. There is no Ericson Day. That’s strange. Spain can celebrate all they want. They were the ones who had him claim new lands for them. I heard he was an asshole, too. Look it up on Wikipedia. I did. And this shit is a federal holiday, which means I can’t even go to the fucking post office. Bullshit.

October 31st is Halloween. Rad shit. Dress up as something funny, carve a pumpkin, eat some candy, and watch scary movies. Some people get really pumped for this one. It’s one of my favorites, but I don’t get too excited until a few days before. I haven’t even been home for Halloween the last eight years. Fucking Fest. I still try and dress up, though. Last year, I wore a giant whoopee cushion. And then I lost it. A few years ago I wrote a column about how you suck if you don’t dress up for Halloween. I stand by that, although a couple years I have contradicted myself by not dressing up. Shame on me. If you have kids, this should be a fun day for you; you get to see your kid in a dumb costume while they get handed way too much candy, and you can even hand out candy at your house if you like. What a day!

November 11th is Veterans Day. Coinciding with the end of World War I— which was formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. There’s not much going on here, as far as celebrations and stuff. It’s a federal holiday. If you know a veteran, thank them for what they have done. My dad is a Vietnam veteran. I usually give him a call and tell him to have a happy Veterans Day.

November 27th is Thanksgiving Day. This holiday can be traced back to England. People would give thanks for a good harvest. Pilgrims brought the tradition over to North America and the first Thanksgiving is believed to be in 1621 at Plymouth. I don’t have a big problem with it. Most people are off work for this federal holiday. You eat and drink a bunch of shit, lie around, watch football, and see some family. I just don’t get why so many people make such a big deal out of it; like if you miss it you’re an awful person or something. Gobble gobble.

December 24nd is Christmas Eve. Because one day isn’t enough for Christmas, you have to celebrate an eve. Why not? Go to midnight mass. Get things started a day early. All it means for me is that I have two days in a row of family shit to go to. Thanks a lot to whoever started Christmas Eve.

December 25th is Christmas Day. The last federal holiday of the year. Finally. A fictional character, named Jesus, was born to a woman, named Mary, who had never had sexual intercourse. That’s what we call a miracle. A miracle that can’t scientifically happen. Well, these days it can. What with sperm donors and whatnot. But not 2,000 years ago.

Anyway, chop down an evergreen tree and put it up inside your house, put lights along your gutters, buy a bunch of gifts for people, eat a bunch of food, and drink some beverages. Be sure to leave Santa Claus some milk and cookies the night before. He gets tired driving that magical sleigh all across the world, dropping off gifts that were made in his workshop at the North Pole by elves. His reindeer need snacks, too. Don’t forget about them. It’s fun for kids, I guess. But once they catch their parents wrapping gifts the night before, it’s over. I really like December 26th. Not because it’s Boxing Day, but because Christmas is over.

December 31st is New Year’s Eve. A lot of people get drunk who normally don’t. It’s fun to be around them all night. NOT. I like New Year’s Eve because the year is finally over and I usually have plenty of reasons to turn the page. That’s about it, really. I don’t need a holiday to drink. I do just fine every other day of the year. Thank you.

So there are my views on these holidays. A lot of them can be traced back to religious days—which I think is bullshit—but it was the norm hundreds of years ago. People had yet to know any better. I have more of a problem with the commercialization of holidays. People take things way too far now. Just celebrate the day for what it is and move on. Enough with the big productions already. Keep things simple. Life’s a lot easier that way.