Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Proliferation of Holidays

We recently finished another read through the "Little House" series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. 

These books follow the Ingalls family in the late 1800s. Consistently, over a book series that spans 10+ years of real time and history, they only celebrate two holidays. Two. Christmas and Independence Day.  

And when I say celebrate in the 1800s, I mean they had a special meal and took the day off work.  (Except that when you live in an agrarian society you never really get a day off).

Today we celebrate: Christmas, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Good Friday/Easter, St Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day, Halloween... I'm sure I'm missing some. 

And when I say celebrate today I mean: lawn ornaments, candy, days or time off work, more candy, gifts, decorations, maybe a special meal, and lots of stuff.

Am I arguing that we give back holidays?  Not necessarily. 

I just wonder if they've proliferated because of a felt need we had as a society to take better care of our laborers, or because consumerism always needs new things to sell to work.

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