We here at Me and You and Ellie have celebrated many holidays in the last year, including New Years Day and Thanksgiving and St. Patrick's Day and Election Day and Christmas and wedding anniversaries and a wedding and the Super Bowl and lots of birthdays. Because we know how to have fun.
And now that another holiday is upon us, the question is begged.
What is your favorite holiday? And why?
Back in my working days, I always used to answer this question: the Fourth of July. No presents, no big organizing, just food and drink and friends and a day off and summer.
But when we hit the road, everything changed. Every day became a holiday, and we found even celebrating our birthdays became superfluous. Well, we continued to celebrate our birthdays, of course, but we cut out the presents. Unnecessary. What better present is there than being on the road, celebrating Bill's #41 by hiking in the Davis Mountains of West Texas? Or celebrating my #38 by grilling steaks in North Dakota?
And national holidays are tricky on the road, because all the amateurs are out, taking up all the space in the campgrounds, leaving poor travelers like us high and dry.
So. Taking all that into account, I have a couple of favorites, depending on where I am. One of my favorites is baseball's Opening Day, but only if I'm in San Diego. That is a good place to hear those magical words, "Play Ball!" Here in Connecticut, Opening Day was exciting, of course, because of all it promises, but that was 7 weeks ago, and it's only now just starting to get nice around here.
So. Memorial Day it is. The official beginning of summer. The beginning of nice weather, even in the godforsaken northeast. Food, booze and picnics. And, thankfully, we're miles from any parade route.
Although I was born on Memorial day, and I do like it for the very same reason as Ellie does, namely that it's the three-day weekend that kicks off the summer season (and because I vaguely remember placing flags on Vets graves with my Dad, which he did with reverence), it is not my favorite.
I also love Labor day, on which both my brother and oldest daughter were born (on different days and in different years, of course), with its typically hot weather and almost-warm ocean temperatures, that extra day to be used solely for soaking up those last lazy, hazy summer rays before the (by then quite needed) routines of fall, namely school, begin. But it is also not my favorite.
My favorite is an autumn holiday, the one that falls on the third Thursday of November (very close to Jacquie's birthday). I love that we have an entire holiday dedicated to gratitude, and what's more, that it's gratitude by way of food. Yes, there is cooking involved, which I'm normally not a fan of, but because Thanksgiving dinner is the main event of the day, there being no costumes to don, or stockings to open, or fireworks to watch, or colored eggs to find, it doesn't seem like a chore, it seems instead like some ritualized form of gratefulness. And if you're Thanksgivings are like mine, they can take many forms, from big family gatherings, to even bigger gatherings of friends and family, to an intimate meal for two -- from traditional to, well, not. When I think back, I've spent Thanksgiving dinner in all matter of place (once in Turkey!) with all combination of people, and always, each year, there is plenty to be grateful for.
Plus there's pie. Almost always.
Ellie, opening day is not a holiday. I am not sure how to answer this one, because the success of holidays in particular depends so much on their circumstances each year. I'm going to go with Christmas though, because Christmas always means a two week vacation, and I am very fond of vacation. And of course, the joy of giving, the birth of the sweet baby Jesus, the tree, the lights, the merriment, yada yada.