This Mount Rushmore is going to be a bit different than past ones. With Halloween just a few hours away — and candy having already been covered in the inaugural Mount Rushmore column — I instead want to discuss holidays. But holidays are deeply person. There is no way to even approach an objective ordering of holidays. And the possible options are nearly infinite. So rather than argue this week’s topic, let’s simply share, discuss, ask questions, and learn a little bit more about what makes each other tick. In sharing our favorite holidays — the what’s and the why’s and the how’s and the who’s — we should be able to have a pretty special conversation here.
Without further adieu…
Thanksgiving: Food. Football. Family. Friends. Fall. What could be better? Many cultures have a harvest festival of one kind or another. I think this says something about our species.
Christmas: As a recovering Catholic who would best be described as ambivalent about religion, this is an odd choice for me. But when I think about the pure excitement that surrounds this holiday, I just feel warm all over. No matter how old I get, I still relish in the sense of anticipation that surrounds Christmas. As a youngster, it was about what I would receive. But now? Now it is about what I will give. I love giving gifts. I give gifts out of one kind or another on an almost daily basis. Being able to make someone happy in that way just fills me up. So on Christmas, I can really indulge this. Also, there is tons of food, tons of wine, and snuggling up by the fireplace.
Memorial Day: For the past three years, we have hosted a Memorial Day cookout at the house. Being surrounded by good friends, tipping back some cold ones, and rotating between the grill, the hammock, and the Wiffle ball field is a pretty special day. Perhaps it is wrong that I think of what was originally intended as a somber day in terms of a giant party, but, hey, that’s where I land. Plus I’d venture to guess that those who fought and died for our country would look favorably on a joyous gathering of friends loving life.
Valentine’s Day: I don’t think I’ve ever quite nailed Valentine’s Day. But as I come to better understand my relationship with love itself and with those who I love, I’ve come to better appreciate a holiday dedicated to recognizing and celebrating love. Ignore all the bullshit, commercialized trappings of the day and instead focus on what it means to love, to be loved, and to share love.
As you can see, connectedness to others is hugely important to me and was a driving force behind my selections. So what are yours? And what can we learn about you from them?
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