“Two days off in a row is sort of cutting it a little close, though…”
~Still your boss
As we discussed in yesterday’s fun fact, this week will be devoted to discussing the importance of Holidays in American culture. We’re going to keep that going today with the most American Federal Holidays that you don’t have to go to work for, because America’s got your back.
Washington’s Birthday: Third Monday in February
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Third Monday in January
It’d be easy to call us lazy for combining these two different holidays, but really they’re the same thing. They’re both holidays that have taken on different meanings, aren’t universally celebrated the same way, are centered around the birthdays of dead men, but still at least let kids get out of school. George Washington’s birthday has been celebrated as a national holiday since 1879, but the date was changed to the every shifting “Third Monday of the month” in 1968, and it’s often lumped together with Lincoln’s birthday to be called “President’s Day.” So it’s American because it’s about Presidents, but it’s another one where you don’t do anything particularly cool during it.
Same goes for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which has been around for less time, but is not used as an excuse for non-government employees to take the day off. At least the next two lazily lumped together holidays are always taken off for just about everyone.
Memorial Day: Last Monday in May
Veterans Day: November 11th
On one hand, these days aren’t celebrated one particular way versus the other, other than “We got a day off! Alright!” But, first of all, they’re both for soldiers, and we can’t say anything sarcastic about that, because that’s a legitimate worthy reason for a holiday. And as a bonus, Memorial Day is considered the unofficial beginning of summer. So while Labor Day is all glitter and the end of summer, Memorial Day is the beginning of summer and has absolutely no glittery gif files because we don’t stand for that shit in America, son.
And from here, we go into the truly American holidays. Like…
Independence Day: July 4th
Ah yes, America’s birthday. Yesterday. We’re still hungover from celebrating. You’ve got the grill set up, fireworks, and beer cozies, what better way to spend a summer day? Independence Day is so American that it helps celebrate our origin as a nation, as well as the day that we repelled a superior Alien army by using a Mac Powerbook. July 4th has been established to be the one day with the highest likelihood of the song from The Wonder Years coming on in the background when you reminisce about it. No other holiday necessitates more hot dogs and hamburgers to be stuffed down your gullet, and no other holiday comes with the very real possibility that you are going to lose a goddamn hand.
Thanksgiving: Fourth Thursday of November
What do you want in your holiday? Placing it in the middle of the week that you have to take several days off? Check. Enough alcohol to stir up every conflict you’ve ever had with your family? Check. Enough dead turkeys to fill up a hole big enough to fit 45 million dead turkeys? Check. Football? Football! FOOTBALL!
There is very little that’s more American than eating and drinking yourself into a chemically induced coma. Oh and you spend time with your family or whatever, but really, we’re just going to focus on the fact that Thanksgiving is the one day meant to fatten you up so much that if you weren’t surrounded by familiar faces you’d just assume they’re priming you for some sort of cannibalistic feast. The only way you could make Thanksgiving better is if you combined all the drinking, eating, and American families with, like, fucking presents.
Christmas- December 25th
“Ohhhh, AFFotD, you’re going to get in troubbbleeeee, this one’s a religious holidayyyy and people get offended by thaaaat.” First of all, shut the fuck up, you type with a whiny voice, and second of all, we honestly don’t give a crap about the small minority of people who get offended by people celebrating Christmas. Most people who get into Christmas don’t do it for religious reasons, they are taking advantage of the fact that everyone gets drunk and hands out presents. And sure, if you’re from another religion and aren’t actively going to celebrate Christmas, you still get the day off and get to go to empty movie theaters and eat Chinese food. It’s win win here folks. So, we’re going to just talk about how American Christmas truly is.
Everyone gets presents (that they may or may not even deserve), they take egg nog (gross) and mix it with bourbon (suddenly delicious!) and eat glazed ham (the only way to make pork even worse for you is to add sugar to the outside of it). You know it’s a good holiday since every TV show has to write an episode talking about it every year.
And with that, you now know what you need to know about the great Federal Holidays of this nation. Stay tuned tomorrow for our run down of the Most American pseudo holidays (ie, the ones you don’t get to take off).