What has happened to the National Holiday? Let’s look at the list of National Holidays for 2013 observed by the federal government, meaning a paid day off for all federal employees.
New Years Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
Thanksgiving & day after
Christmas Eve, Christmas, day after Christmas
Thirteen days total. Now by definition a holiday is a day set aside to observe a cultural tradition or religious occasion by allowing suspension or reduction of business or work to allow the individual time to celebrate said event. So one would think if the government is closed for these so called “National Holidays” all business, industry, educational systems would be closed as well. Only the essential services would remain operating such as Police, Fire, Ambulance, Hospitals. Well guess what, you would be wrong.
Many years ago when I was a small boy it was that way, but no more. I remember when everything was closed on Sundays. This was due to what was called Blue Laws. It was a day to go to church, to visit family, to rest & relax. We would go to church then head to my grandmothers house for Sunday dinner. It was a big deal. I didn’t always want to go, but now I realize how special that time was. Slowly but surely the Blue Laws began to erode. I’m not sure but I think it began with restaurants & gas stations, in conjunction with the development of the interstate highway system. Greed took over from there. Grocery stores started opening at noon on Sundays. Then all the other stores started to open from 12-5. Soon everyone started extending hours on the closing end. That wasn’t good enough. So opening hours started to expand. So over the course of a decade, Sundays just became another work day. A few states still enforce Blue Laws, but for the majority of states it’s part of history.
The “National Holiday” has followed a similar path. It started with the lesser holidays. Department stores started to have big sales named after whatever holiday it was. Their reasoning was if the general masses were off, they would come shop at a sale. So here we go again. One by one holidays became shopping days. If department stores were going to be open then the people would need to eat out and put gas in their cars. Industry soon began to look at the bottom line and determined it was more costly to close down and fire back up than to just keep operating. So now the working class has No Holiday. The last two Holidays remaining untouched were Thanksgiving & Christmas. But that all changed this year. Retailers rationalized that there were few shopping days until Christmas because Thanksgiving fell latter this year. The big box stores announced Black Friday Sales starting on Thanksgiving. Their was an outcry from the public, petitions on behave of employees that would have to sacrifice their holiday, boycotts formed. These all had no effect on the big box stores as they proceeded to advertise their door buster deals. Soon the malls jumped on the band wagon along with all the other businesses. Thanksgiving became a shopping day in 2013. If that wasn’t bad enough. The Day after Christmas Sales started on Christmas. Go figure! Again the retailers figured if they could get away it at Thanksgiving, they could do it again at Christmas. The public didn’t even notice or maybe they just didn’t care.
So now there are no HOLIDAYS left (unless you work for the government). Business & industry operate 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Otherwise know as 24/7/365. So Greed has won out again. Only time will tell if 2013 is the beginning of the end of the American family as we know it today.
And that is The View from Here.