S.T.O.P. and rank the holidays

Hello, loyal blog followers! I just realized it’s been almost exactly a month since I checked in with you people, and I feel like I’m letting you down. And now that there are 38 of you, that’s a lot of people to disappoint. I’m truly sorry if you feel neglected. As usual, life has been getting in the way. I’ll spare you the laundry list of what has been keeping me too busy to craft anything longer than a Facebook post or two these days, but I can at least partially blame it on actual “work.”

Now, if you happen to walk past the window of my* yoga studio on a Tuesday morning at 9:30, you might be tempted to say, as I have: “Doesn’t anybody work anymore?” This Tuesday morning hot yoga class is jam packed; I mean, we are forced to squeeze in so that our mats are 4 inches away from each other, which means we’re constantly sticking a foot over our neighbor’s face, or brushing each other’s fingers while taking our vinyasa… How can this be? On a weekday? At 9:30 am? Well, a recent trending topic on LinkedIn stated: “The 9-to-5 job is becoming obsolete.” I’ve long suspected that because of things like this Tuesday morning yoga class. Because, while of course there are some stay-at-home moms in the class (which, by the way, I support fully; I mean, I have been a stay-at-home or a work-at-home mom since my second child was born), when I look around the room, I see people that I know are professionals: ER doctors, pediatricians, professors, attorneys, realtors, business owners, and more. They’re not slacking. It’s just that working nontraditional hours has become traditional for many. In fact, for a lot of us, it’s reached the point that weekends and even holidays are almost meaningless. I’m not talking about the “big” holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, of course. I’m referring to the National Holidays that sometimes result in a Monday off for the fortunate few.

For example, Columbus Day has come and gone. Did you even notice? If you live in my school district, you probably didn’t, unless, like me, you tried to deposit a check at the bank and couldn’t figure out why they weren’t open. Or maybe you opened your mailbox about 3 times throughout the day, wondering why it was still empty… That’s because, in my school district, Columbus Day fails 3 out of 4 very important criteria for being considered a “holiday.” Those criteria can be easily remembered and referred to by using this handy-dandy S.T.O.P. acronym:

School: Is school closed?
Trash: Is trash collection delayed?
Offices: Are offices closed?
Presents: Any gift giving involved?

Where I live, Columbus Day fails miserably.

School – in session: 0 points for holiday status
Trash – not delayed: 0 points for holiday status
Offices – banks/post offices closed; 1 point for holiday status
Presents – no gifts given for Columbus Day: 0 points for holiday status.

So, with a total of 1 point, aside from having to wait an extra day to deposit my checks, Columbus Day is only slightly more noticeable than “National Moldy Cheese Day,” which, incidentally, did fall on the exact same date as Columbus Day this year. This is neither a slam on Christopher Columbus, or a plug for having the holiday renamed Indigenous Peoples Day; I am not going there. This is just a fact.

Sadly, in my part of the world, Columbus Day actually fares better on the holiday scale than the actual, true, holiest of Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur. Same for Rosh Hashanah. In every school district I’ve ever lived in (all two of them), both holidays fail every single holiday criteria. I actually have quite a few Jewish friends, and I think that kind of sucks. Some of my friends from Philadelphia and New Jersey have been quite shocked to learn that our schools are always open on the Jewish holidays. And when I see their shock, I like to compound it by telling them about the one holiday we could always count on having off in western and central PA… DEER DAY!

Deer Day falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving. It is the first official day of Buck Season, meaning it’s the first day you’re allowed to hunt and kill an antlered deer with a rifle, at least in many parts of PA. In our neck of the woods, Deer Day is an almost sacred “holiday.” School is closed, trash collection is delayed, and there are even “Deer Widow” sales at retail stores. Over the years some of my city-dwelling friends have accused me of making this up, but I swear, I am not!

What is my point? Honestly, I have no idea where I’m going with this. Truth is, I am just sitting here trying desperately to avoid the temptation of breaking into the candy I bought to give out for Trick-or-Treat next week, and, even though technically speaking, Halloween fails all of the S.T.O.P. criteria for being a true holiday, I’m thinking about how this kind of marks the start of the holiday season. And when I think the words, “It’s the holiday season…” I can’t help but think of the opening lyrics from one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs dating back to my youth — “Happy Holiday” by Andy Williams. Despite the fact that these days the phrase “Happy Holidays” seems to have fallen out of favor, and indeed, has become downright offensive to some, I challenge anyone to come up with a more merry, more Christmasy song than that one.

So, there you have it, my dear blog followers. These are the kinds of rambling, deep thoughts I have been holding back from sharing with you for the past month. At this rate, you are probably hoping I will take at least another month off from blogging. Maybe I’ll check in with you again on Deer Day… It’s just 34 days away!


*Don’t get the wrong idea, I don’t OWN the yoga studio; it’s “mine” as in it’s the one that I go to.

2 thoughts on “S.T.O.P. and rank the holidays

  1. I am in Minnesota and our “deer opener” is Nov. 4. Many, many craft sales and holiday bazaars are scheduled during the three weekends of deer hunting. Schools don’t close, but that’s most likely because I think they’d rather close for “snow” days than “deer” days.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s