Manufactured Holidays

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“All you need is love.  But, a little chocolate now and then helps.”

–     Charles M. Schulz (1922 – 2000), creator of the Peanuts (“Charlie Brown”) comics

Look, Easter, Christmas and our birthdays, along with Independence Day, Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day ought to be enough, right?

Wrong, I guess.

I’ve long been a cynic when it comes to “manufactured holidays.”  Lately, though, in a world gone too cynical even for this cynic, where everyone is against something and few stand for something, I’m a convert.

“I’m for love,” sang Hank Williams, Jr.  “I’m for happiness.  I’m for “if you don’t like it can’t you just let it pass?”  (The live version is saucier, and more to my liking…)

If Grandparents’ Day is a reminder for our kids to call their grandmas and grandpas, that’s good.  If St. Patrick’s Day is a reason to paint the Chicago River green and pretend we’re 21 again, that’s gotta be a nice release from the day-to-day, right?  Fill in the blank with a manufactured holiday of your choosing.  Why not make the most of it?

It sort of begs the question, “What if we treated ever day like a holiday?”  Like a gift?  ‘Cause every day really is a gift – arguably one we don’t deserve and can’t count on receiving.

As for this particular holiday, and any involving the Heston Women, chocolate does help.  There is chocolate for them today, as well as a heartfelt reminder that my life would kinda suck without them and, without the tall one, the boy in the middle. As he said when he was little, he “NO like chocolate!” so a vanilla cupcake for him, with that same reminder.

Look around today at your Valentines.  And, if alone today, remember those you love, have loved or who have loved you, and manufacture a smile.  Make a phone call.  Let someone know that they make / made a difference for you.  It’ll give them a real — not manufactured — smile, and a sense of worth, peace and happiness.  All of which are better, even, than chocolate.

And, if we want to get really wacky, what if we manufactured another holiday tomorrow?  Let’s call it, “Make The Most of Today Day.”  Would at least our part of the cynical world be a better place to live?  It might just make a difference.


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