November 26th, 2009

Sailor Steeler

Writer's Block: If we took a holiday ...

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Labor Day.

All holidays have become commercialized or twisted to mean something other than what they were supposed to mean. Christmas has become a time to give expensive gifts the giver cannot afford. Thanksgiving is commonly known as "Turkey Day." Valentine's Day is an excuse to make fun of single people. By the way, does anyone other than political figures and devoted veterans actually think of Memorial Day as something other than the time to fire up the barbecue grill?

This includes Labor Day to an extent, but the nature of this holiday prevents it from becoming "just another day off." Labor Day celebrates not only the pioneers who fought for the protections workers enjoy today, but the same laborers who work today. Nearly all adults work or have worked at one time, and the majority of workers have been "grunts" and not management. This makes it difficult to marginalize the subject of the celebration, even if the specifics of the reason behind it gets lost.

Labor Day, then, is a holiday that can never fully escape meaning, but its meaning is in its existence. It is a pause, a respite from work, a scheduled break that symbolizes a luxury that people get to enjoy. That's why I love it.