Holiday Oddity

People enjoy holidays.  It’s what we do.  Well, most people.  There are lots of people who find the holidays to be a bitter taste for one reason or another.  It could be the death of a loved one on or very near that holiday, the fact that it was a dead loved ones favourite holiday and they are no longer here to celebrate, or you have had one or more very distasteful holidays and would just rather not at this point.  That is sad to me, but I can completely understand it.  The holidays aren’t the same anymore now that my grandparents and my brother are no longer living, or that I don’t get to see some other members of my family.  However, I still enjoy and look forward to certain holidays, especially Christmas.

But I was really going to discuss my love for non-holidays.  They won’t get you time off, they aren’t really recognized as officially holidays, or parts of one, but they are holidays to me.  They’re just magical days that seem to coincide with other holidays, or unto themselves.

Friday the 13th:
I don’t really know anyone who actually celebrates and is excited that it is Friday the 13th.  Most people are either extremely wary, or mock it because they don’t really care.  I didn’t set out to celebrate this day, it’s just that Friday the 13th’s always turned out to be really, really great days for me.  The weather would be spot on, something magical but small would happen, and it would just be a really enjoyable and happy day.

The Ides of March:
No one would really know about this except that the story of Julius Caesar is pretty well-known.  That’s how I know about it.  Thank you Mr. Shakespeare.  It’s just the 15th of March, which happened to be when Julius was assassinated by senators.  Ya know the line, “Et tu, Brute?”, which is “And you, Brutus?”; apparently Julius’ shock that dear old Brutus would also be one of his killers.  I’m not celebrating Julius Caesars assassination or Marcus Brutus’ triumph.  The 15th of March isn’t special, but I like that it’s called the Ides of March and the whole “Beware the Ides of March.” bit.  I just like to be happy knowing the Ides of March have arrived.  I didn’t say that any of this would be logical or practical.

Devils Night:
Another ‘holiday’ that I just like.  Basically only Midwesterners or people who saw The Crow have any inkling that there is such a thing as Devils Night.  It’s this mischief-making time on the night before Halloween.  I don’t make mischief, I’m not a Midwesterner, I did watch The Crow when I was thirteen.  Really, I just like to think. “Ah, it’s Devil’s Night.”, smile and that’s that.

The Day Before Thanksgiving:
People in the US have Thanksgiving, and some even revel in the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday.  You can keep ’em.  The Sister and I went out at five in the morning once, just to see what this Black Friday was all about.  We were just browsing, not even shopping and people were just rude and glaring and you can keep it.  Though a little bit of sleet did fall for about half a second, so that was nice.  Thanksgiving though is not too bad, but it really isn’t as fun with just the four of us.  However, I always had a really great time on the day before.  It was never anything really.  I had to go to school, but we’d get a half day.  Half days are fun.  Half days are special.  Then I would be tasked with easy food preparation; making cranberry sauce from scratch or dad’s really gross congealed salad.  And that was all I ever had to do growing up.  Later, I’d just do things.  Go to a friend’s house and hang out, cuddle up and read something at home.  One year, however, a friend & I drove to the coast and hung out.

This year we won’t really be celebrating.  Dad’s not going to be able to enjoy Thanksgiving, which is his ultimate favourite food holiday.  He asked if we could celebrate early so he could actually eat and enjoy the food.  So, we’ve already had Thanksgiving, this past Sunday.  So, I have nothing to prep, nothing to make.  It felt a little weird at first, but now I’m rather excited.  We’re going to get pizza from Papa Murphey’s the day before and we’ll just have pizza and chocolate chip cookies and wine (for The Sister & Mom) and not worry about turkeys or dressings or time.

Also the library announced that it would be open on the 23rd, but would close early.  That sounded wonderful!  The library.  The day before Thanksgiving.  Closing Early.  That last one, brings about the same fondness in me that half days in school did.  I have this grand idea of spending all day in the library, looking through books and finally choosing one to take home over the Thanksgiving holiday.  I’m so excited for this, it’s not even funny.  I’m also completely serious.

The 18th of December:

I’m not entirely sure why this one’s such a great day.  It did start my senior year of high school.  I graduated early, so my last day was 18. December.  But, all the following 18. December’s were just as cool.  If I can set a Christmas party  or other event on this day, then I most certainly will!  It’s just always a nice day, so I like knowing it’s the 18th and I’m happy that day.

The Day before Christmas Eve:

I know that Eve is short for eventide/evening time, but don’t be confused.  I don’t like calling the 24th of December ‘Christmas Eve Day.’  It’s just Christmas Eve.  So, the day before that is the 23rd.  I think I like this day because it was always a calm day in my house.  Prior to this there would be numerous comings and goings to any which place.  Buying presents, selling angel ornaments at the department store.  Lots of hub bub.  And of course Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were jam-packed with rules.  My dad grew up in a family that celebrated like they do on A Christmas Story.  The kids wake up at dawn and ransack the house and then the parents wake up hours later and have coffee and go through their gifts.

In my house, we were raised to do Christmas the way my mom was raised to do Christmas.  Which is a very formal and Victorian-esque elitist affair.  That might sound nice, but it’s only nice now because The Sister and I have relaxed it a bit.  We always had Christmas morning at our house and then did it all again at my maternal grandmothers house on that same day (early in my childhood we’d stay the night at her house and just do Christmas there).  Then on the 26th we went to see dad’s family.

So, the 23rd was a nice lazy day; a nice break from the chaos and rules.  Sometimes holiday baking of cookies and other sweets occurred.  Sometimes we leisurely decorated the tree.  Most times it was just a day to do whatever you wanted, or just watch holiday movies on the telly.  This feeling for the 23rd is still ingrained in me, though I haven’t had a hectic, rule filled Christmas in many a year.

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