Whoever dreamed up all these National Days and Months must be a really irritating person. Read a Book Day (September 6)? National Selfie Day (June 21)? Really? Have you looked at Facebook or Twitter/X lately? Everybody posts selfies all day every day – we don’t need a special day to be bombarded with even more. And I gotta tell you, the moment you put the word “author” in your profile your feed is unending book ads. Often including selfies of authors holding their books. Please, we don’t need holidays for more of that!
I figure if I’m irritated by all the National Days that aren’t really holidays or official anything, then it follows that whoever came up with them must be irritating, right? I mean, what’s the point? They’re called holidays but they aren’t. Banks and public buildings are all still open. Everybody still has to go to work. Besides, most are stupid (why is there a National Avocado Day on July 31 when most of the US’s avocados come from Mexico?) or just boring.
Okay, okay, I can see things like Cancer Awareness Month… but Clean Off Your Desk Day (January 8)? Or Peculiar People Day (January 10)? Those stupid and/or boring “National Days” aren’t days for honoring special people, e.g. Martin Luther King Day or Memorial Day. They’re useless time suckers, like all the rest of the useless time suckers in our lives. I did some research because I wanted to know how National Days happened and who has caused us to be inflicted with them.
Before I tell you who to blame for starting this fake holiday business, I want to clarify an important point: real National/Federal Holidays are the business of Congress, which has established 11 + 1 holidays for federal workers.
- New Year’s Day January 1
- Martin Luther King’s Birthday 3rd Monday in January
- Washington’s Birthday 3rd Monday in February
- Memorial Day last Monday in May
- Juneteenth National Independence Day June 19
- Independence Day July 4
- Labor Day 1st Monday in September
- Columbus Day 2nd Monday in October
- Veterans’ Day November 11
- Thanksgiving Day 4th Thursday in November
- Christmas Day December 25
- + Inauguration Day on Jan. 20 every four years and some official state holidays for federal workers in the applicable states.
Federal National Days – real holidays – are observed by businesses because it’s hard to do business when the USPS and other government services are closed for the day. Fake National Days are no obstacle for raking in the bucks.
Now back to how these fake holidays happened. Blame it on St. Valentine – no, actually blame it on the folks who first began commercially printing Valentine’s Day cards hundreds of years ago (1700s probably). It got out of control. And then it got worse: National Popcorn Day was declared in 2013 by the nefarious (or ingenious, depending on how you feel about the whole concept) Marlo Anderson and Nicholas Ressler, who created a National Day Calendar, “a platform for registering an official National Day, Week, or Month that complements your brand, nonprofit, or organization.” They’ve got over 1500 national days registered.
No way no how am I going to observe anything on that calendar. I mean, come on – look at my desk right now. Am I going to clear that off on January 8? NO!
One person’s messy desk is another person’s creativity pallette.