I Need a Holiday from Holidays
Guest blog by S.D. Hintz
I write this as Mother’s Day has passed and Father’s Day approaches. While the recognition of loved ones is fantastic, what gradually wears on me is the gift giving and retail maelstrom that makes me want to cower in a bomb shelter. This last holiday I was running all over town trying to find a gift, only to come up empty-handed. I settled on a card and flowers. Little did I know, it was sufficient. Nothing else was expected of me, and that was great. Believe me, I dread when Christmas rolls around. But this whole experience really had me thinking about holidays and the history behind them.
Mother’s Day was officially established by Anna Marie Jarvis, who originally celebrated it as Mother’s Friendship Day. Woodrow Wilson later declared it a holiday. An interesting side note, before her death, Anna opposed the holiday due to it having become so commercialized. Case and point.
Now Father’s Day was started by a woman, Sonora Smart Dodd. At the time, Mother’s Day was met with enthusiasm and the concept of Father’s Day was regarded with laughter. After numerous bills were struck down, Lyndon Johnson eventually declared it a holiday. Dodd unlike Jarvis supported the commercialization of Father’s Day.
And I think that’s what hits home for me: commercialization. While I enjoy giving gifts, the thought of finding that perfect present and spending the money is admittedly stressful. What I find intriguing are the lengths that people have gone to assure the holidays are recognized. And I won’t go into Christmas and Halloween due to their odd religious/sacreligious origins. Is there a month without a holiday? I doubt it. And I’m sure the retail establishments love it.
S.D. Hintz is the Editor in Chief of Skullvines Press and a horror novelist.