If you sit down and think about it, the holidays that we celebrate in North America are really weird. They’re primarily relics, vestiges of a dubious, largely mythic past that are completely out of synch with contemporary sensibilities and realities. I mean, Groundhog Day? Okay, technically that’s not a holiday. Family Day? Come on. That’s just an embarrassment.
A radical reassessment is needed. We need to create a new hierarchy, one in which fresh, modern holidays that more appropriately reflect our living culture supplant the old, superstitious ones. Here are some suggestions.
The Day of the Blanket
This celebration will commemorate the day in November 2002 when pop superstar Michael Jackson dangled his blanket-covered baby—Prince Michael—off a fifth floor terrace in Berlin. Each participating citizen will carry a blanket with them throughout the day, and a small token object symbolizing Prince Michael. At an appointed hour everybody will go out and wave their blanket, as if an army of rhythmic gymnasts or bullfighters, and if a child can guess what you have concealed behind your blanket, then they get the prize.
Traditional meal: Souvlaki
Interesting notes: Michael Jackson stickers, hard candy and juices will be very popular prizes to give out to children.
Le Changement Climatique
Celebrated with boisterous Gallic flair, Le Changement Climatique will be a day to shrug off the inevitable demise of all life on earth and just live in the moment. All efforts at conservation will be repealed for the day and marital obligations ignored. Those over 40 will tell stories of winter.
Traditional Meal: Pig’s Feet.
Interesting notes: Le Changement Climatique will be hugely popular with hunters.
Festival of Small Miracles
This holiday will celebrate the tender mercies, such as finding a good parking spot, having a cable provider show-up at a convenient time, getting a smaller than estimated vet bill or winning a modest amount of money on a Scratch N’ Win ticket. Of all the yearly celebrations, this one will be considered the most significant.
Traditional meal: Fish and chips.
Interesting notes: Also known as Poet’s Day.
Jump the Shark!
This day, inspired by TV moments like Fonzie jumping the shark on Happy Days or Ross and Rachel’s first kiss on Friends, will be a day to reminisce and complain about how things used to be better and to take stock of all disappointments in one’s life. An occasion for solemn contemplation, each person, aided by their family, will be left to evaluate the moment that things really started to go south for them.
Traditional meal: Pot Roast or Meatloaf.
Interesting notes: The after dinner Parade of Shame will become a popular meeting place for singles.
Incorporating a flash-mob spirit and some elements of Black Friday, this holiday will be characterized by people standing in long, symbolic line-ups in public centers. At the appointed hour, usually sometime very early in the morning, a Steve Jobs look-alike will yell, “We’re open!” and everyone will scream and run madly toward a counter where the first 50 people will receive a very ripe, soon to be obsolete Granny Smith apple. The day will be used as an instructional tool for children so that they understand the economic system in which they will exist.
Traditional meal: Pizza Pizza.
Interesting notes: Many participants will draw an apple on their forehead, much like the Hindu Third Eye.
Inspired by the 1980 Miracle on Ice when the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team defeated the mighty Soviets, and went on to win the gold medal at Lake Placid, Miracle Monday will be a reminder that anything can happen. This day will be particularly close to the heart of religious fanatics awaiting revelation and people trying to sell things on Craig’s List.
Traditional Meal: Angel hair pasta with lobster.
Interesting notes: Sports heroes will be considered the patron saints of this day and tribute in some form, usually sexual, must be brought to them.
This day commemorates the birth of the Internet, the digital technology that radically changed the world we live in. A zombie run will be a frequent component of this celebration.
Traditional Meal: Fish and Chips.
Interesting notes: Web Wednesday and the Festival of Small Miracles share the same traditional meal.