It's that time of the year again when most people pick up a new calendar so they can begin planning their next year's schedules and vacations.
But not you! Because you are lucky enough to be one of my US readers, you don't even have to leave your computer to find out what's happnin' in 2009 (sorry everyone else but I couldn't possibly do this for the whole world you know). Just bookmark this post and the next time you need to know what day a specific holiday falls on, simply click your way back here and you're good to go.
That's right. As my gift to you, I have put together this handy holiday reference guide to help you remember when to celebrate this year. And, as an added bonus, I've included some of my own unsolicited comments.
*New Year's Day (Jan 1 - Thu) - or better known as "Holy Crap, Do I Have A Headache!" Day. This is the day upon which millions of new resolutions are launched in a renewed attempt to change ourselves for the better - for about a week.
*MLK Jr. Birthday (Jan 19 - Mon) - One of the few holidays actually worth honoring someone over.
Groundhog Day (Feb 2 - Mon) - Harmless fun. Plus, nobody has to send a card or buy anything.
Valentine's Day (Feb 14 - Sat) - Women receive chocolate, flowers, jewelry, love notes and fine dining. Men receive - the bill.
(Hallmark fun fact: Behind Christmas, Valentines Day is their second biggest day of the year. An average of 190 million valentines are sent every year.)
*President's Day (Feb 16 - Mon) - Originally was just Washington's Birthday. Then they added Lincoln's birthday. Then they said, "let's just make it day to honor all presidents, good or lame!" I can never decide whether to honor Chester Arthur or Franklin Pierce, they were both soooo cool. Oh yeah, and sheets are on sale at Penneys!
Daylight Savings Time Begins (Mar 8 - 2am Sun) - Spring ahead!
The first day of hope that longer warmer days are coming. Joy!
St. Patrick's Day (Mar 17 - Tue) - More harmless fun, but why do these guys get their own holiday? Where's my Norwegian St. Olaf's Day? On second thought, green beer looks bad enough in the toilet. I don't think I want to see what the morning brings after a rousing night of lutefisk and lefsa.
April Fool's Day (Apr 1 - Wed) - Always hated it. Just another excuse for smart-asses to be jerks and call it a "joke".
Easter Sunday (Apr 12 - Sun) - A day to celebrate the rising of Christ from the dead... with candy, bunnies and eggs.
Earth Day (Apr 22 - Wed) - A good cause AND no card required to boot!
Secretaries' Day (Apr 22 - Wed) - TOTALLY Hallmark-invented. Nuff said. *Update... As of last year, this day has now officially been renamed to... ready?.... Administrative Professionals Day. Whatever.
Arbor Day (Apr 24 - Fri) - Eh, bundle it into Earth Day. Except for a few Boy Scout troops I've never seen anyone give a crap about this one.
Cinco de Mayo (May 5 - Tue) - Just remember... NOT a day to drink a 5th of mayonnaise.
Mother's Day (May 10 - Sun), Father's Day (Jun 21 - Sun) and Grandparent's Day (Sep 13 - Sun) - I believe we should honor our parents and grandparents. And, a day to take them to dinner and tell them we appreciate them is a good idea - if you can get a reservation.
(Hallmark fun fact: Behind Christmas and Valentines Day, these holidays make up the next three reasons why Hallmark receives an average of $4 billion in net revenue each year, but who's counting.
Last year: Mother's Day - 155 million cards sent, Father's Day - 105 million)
*Memorial Day (May 25 - Mon) - Another respectable holiday worth recognizing. Plus, for us northerners (where all summer businesses go into hibernation after Labor Day), this is the weekend when all the cool places open up again.
Flag Day (Jun 14 - Sun) - The day to haul your flag out of your closet and put it on your house - or look like a jerk if you don't.
*Independence Day (Jul 4 - Sat) - Parades, picnics, beer, concerts and fireworks. Now that's a holiday!
*Labor Day (Sep 7 - Mon) - Huh? This is one of those, "what exactly are we celebrating here?" kinds of holidays. Why don't they just call it what it is - the "Last Day of Summer" Day.
*Columbus Day (Oct 12 - Mon) - This of course has to be the dumbest "holiday" of them all. So remind me - why do federal employees get to have this day off again? And just how exactly are they supposed to be celebrating? Somehow I don't see our postal workers gathering around a shrine of ol' Chris and bowing in homage to him.
In fact, some people may argue that Columbus wasn't all he was cracked up to be. Here's a little blurb about Columbus I found on the internet - so, of course, it must be true:
- Historically, Columbus was not the first to discover America, nor was he the first European to land at America. He was the first to exploit, kill, and enslave the Arawak Indians of Haiti. The myth of Christopher Columbus and the discovery of America is due to Washington Irving. His "biography" of Columbus was popularized in a dramatic and embellished account. In recent years, the holiday has been rejected by many people who view it as a celebration of conquest and genocide.
Halloween (Oct 31 - Sat) - Excellent reason for a holiday! Kids get to dress up, get tons of free candy and act goofy. Adults also have an excuse to head out to the bars for the night, drink tons of beer and act goofy.
Daylight Savings Time Ends (Nov 1 - 2am Sun) - Fall back!
The start of my favorite time of the year, you know, when it's dark when you wake up and dark when you get off work. Joy.
*Veterans Day (Nov 11 - Wed) - Hats off to all veterans. The odd thing about this holiday is that all federal employees get the day off even if they aren't veterans, while veterans who don't work for the government still have to punch in. Whose day is this again?
*Thanksgiving Day (Nov 26 - Thu) - Yum! I'm always thankful for a reason to stuff myself like a sausage, watch some football and fall into a coma on the couch. Too bad it only happens once a year.
Hanukkah (Dec 12-19 Sat-Sat) - The Festival of Lights.
A centuries old traditional Jewish holiday that somehow gracefully managed to escape the blight of commercialism.
*Christmas Day (Dec 25 - Fri) - This most sacred tradition is quickly being squashed by the secular whiny-babies. If this keeps up, what will we end up calling December 25 anyway? Holiday Day?
(Hallmark fun fact: An estimated 2.2 billion cards are sent for Christmas each year)
Kwanzaa (Dec 26-Jan 1 Sat-Fri) - Seven days to celebrate. Now THAT'S a party!
*Federal Holidays (aka days I don't get my mail)