With each passing year the yuletide season creeps steadily up the calendar. Once, it was shocking to catch sight of holiday decorations up in stores before Thanksgiving. Now, we’ve come to expect mistletoe and reindeer to appear in drugstore aisles prior to Halloween. At this rate, we’ll all be shopping for Santa-printed bikinis next summer season.
The trouble with this trend is not the extension of the requisite showing of cheer and goodwill towards one’s fellow man (although, let’s be real, around Black Friday this too becomes trying). What’s at stake as we leap recklessly from one holiday to the next without pause is the loss of the many unofficial, “unholidays” if you will, that pepper the calendar year.
An unholiday is not to be confused with an unbirthday à la Alice and Wonderland. An unbirthday can be celebrated on any day, provided it is not the day you were born. An unholiday comes in the wake of an official holiday, and, though it may not be widely recognized, is marked by the majority of the population partaking in the same activity. Here are just a few unholidays in danger of extinction.
This particular holiday comes not once, but twice a year. You may recognize it under its pseudonym, “Un-Easter.” Much like the official holiday that precedes it, Un-Halloween is all about candy. Though, not the giving of candy to random children, but rather the buying of candy, in bulk, at drastically reduced prices. It used to be that on the day after Halloween, all orange wrappered and pumpkin shaped treats went on sale (ditto for peeps and chocolate bunnies the day after Easter). These days, stores rotate their holiday inventory so quickly, if you put off buying candy for trick-or-treaters until October 29 or 30, all you’ll find are Christmas lights and Santa hats. If you’re lucky, maybe there will be a few stale chocolate turkeys you can distribute so your house is not egged.
Once upon a time, the day after Christmas was reserved for going to see one of the countless movies released on Christmas day. Preferably, an exceptionally violent film, to counteract all the saccharine holiday specials that have been all over the TV for the past month (hence why this day is known as “boxing day” in Canada and Europe). Now, thanks to perpetual holiday pressure, everyone is rushing to the mall instead to return that hideous sweater their aunt bought them, and pick something up on sale for the new year.
Un-New Year's Eve
Technically, Un-New Year’s Eve overlaps with an official holiday, New Year’s Day. However, this un-holiday is not to be confused with that celebration of fresh starts and firm resolve. Un-New Year’s Eve is all about past and penance. In particular, it is about repenting all you drank in the past twenty-four hours. It is observed by rising late in the day, eating copious amounts of carbohydrates, and laying on the couch watching all-day marathons of crappy TV. Resolutions could easily wait until January 2, if everyone weren’t already worked up about Valentine’s Day by then.