By Matthew Dicks / Illustrated By Sean Wang
Don’t get me wrong. I love a good holiday. Any opportunity to give a gift, eat until I feel sick, or spend an extra day at home with family and friends is fine by me. Nothing pleases me more than dragging a murdered evergreen into the living room, wrapping it with electricity and watching it slowly die as we pile flammable boxes, wrapping paper and ribbon beneath it.
That said, every holiday has its unfortunate nuances, too.
- On Thanksgiving, it’s that dreadful twig, nut and berry cranberry sauce that occasionally and inexplicably replaces the perfection of the canned variety.
- On Halloween, it’s the candy still sitting in my pantry five months later, slowly being metered out by my sugar-obsessed children.
- The price of flowers on Valentine’s Day is obscene.
- “Little Drummer Boy” can spoil any Christmas festivity.
- Columbus Day was ruined by the murderous pillager and human trafficker for whom the holiday is unfortunately named.
Even worse than these imperfect holidays are the holidays we need but don’t have. These are the holidays for which we silently, wistfully lament their absence, leaving us to wonder how both National No Bra Day (October 13) and Bra Day USA (October 18) exist, but we still need to go to work the day after the Super Bowl.
An answer to our prayers, perhaps, is March 26: Make Your Own Holiday Day.
Thomas and Ruth Roy, owners of Wellcat Holidays & Herbs in Pennsylvania, are credited with inventing this holiday and many more. They decided years ago that the existing catalog of holidays wasn’t comprehensive enough, so they began inventing holidays to celebrate even the most mundane of days.
Tom Roy’s first invention was Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day, a fictitious event for a radio show he was hosting at the time. On a whim, he submitted his holiday to Chase’s Calendar of Events, a publication that’s been in print since 1958 and is known as the most authoritative reference available on special events, holidays and the like.
Surprisingly, his entry was accepted. Just like that, Tom Roy invented a holiday.
As a result, several Pennsylvania municipalities and a single town in Texas now officially observe February 20th as Hoodie-Hoo Day by going outdoors at high noon and yelling “Hoodie-Hoo” to chase winter away, a month before the official start of spring.
Admittedly Roy’s first attempt at an invented holiday was pretty stupid, but he was just getting started.
Roy (and later his wife) didn’t stop with the one holiday. They went on to create more than 80 holidays, including Answer Your Cat’s Question Day (January 22) and More Herbs, Less Salt Day (August 29).
But perhaps Roy and his wife’s most ingenious idea—and perhaps in recognition of how useless so many of their other holiday inventions are—is Make Your Own Holiday Day. At last, a day that finally meets our every need.
We should start, of course, by turning the Monday after the Super Bowl into a holiday. A survey by the Workplace Institute found that roughly one out of every five employees in the United States—an estimated 26.6 million people—were likely to miss at least some work on Super Bowl Monday. Why not embrace the reality of this day and simply declare it a national holiday?
Even better, why not declare it a holiday for all non-school-based employees only? Send those rotten children to school on Monday but allow the adults to stay home for once, free of the annoying need to keep our children fed, watered and away from open flames. While the kids are busy learning arithmetic and taking spelling tests, parents can joyously sleep late, enjoy a mimosa-fueled brunch and maybe catch a matinee while the small humans are sent to where they belong: anywhere but home.
Suffering from a hangover following your Super Bowl party? No problem. Once the kids are on the school bus, it’s back to bed for you.
Senselessly flipped your car over and set it afire because you live in Philadelphia and the Eagles won? Or lost? Or just exist? No worries. You’ll have all day to make up a believable story before calling your insurance company to report the damage.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Finally, we can enjoy some much-needed, much-deserved holiday celebrations. How about these holidays?
- Alcohol at Work Day
- Ignore the Boss Day
- Nap at Your Desk Day
- Meeting Free March
And that’s just holidays designed to make your workday better. Here are some other suggestions:
- I’ll Wear Whatever I Damn Well Please Day
- Ice Cream Is an Entrée Day
- Designated Parking Spaces Are Just a Suggestion Day
- Tell Your Friend That Their Significant Other Is Awful Without Repercussions Day
- Watermelon Off the Office Roof Day
- Drink a Diet Coke Without Some Jackal Warning You of Your Demise Day
Granted, these are holidays to appeal to some of my specific wants and desires. Yours are probably very different than mine. I can’t imagine why, but they probably are, which is why Make Your Own Holiday Day on March 26 is ideal for all of us.
Just imagine the joy you will feel telling your mother-in-law that it’s No Feedback Allowed Day, or informing your dentist, “Sorry, it’s actually Floss-Free Discussion Day, so spare me your guilt trip and just give me my free toothbrush.” Maybe it is reminding the police officer who just pulled you over that it’s Speed Limit Plus 10 Day.
We all deserve a day for ourselves. One when the universe gently bends in our direction. At last, we have one.
March 26. Invent a Holiday. Celebrate. I wish you the very best.
Matthew Dicks is an elementary school teacher, bestselling novelist, and a record 55-time Moth Story SLAM champion. His latest books are “Twenty-one Truths About Love” and “The Other Mother.”
Sean Wang, an MIT architecture graduate, is author of the sci-fi graphic novel series, Runners. Learn more at seanwang.com.
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