Today is President’s Day. I started the day by meeting with my cabinet.
President’s Day is not normally a favorite holiday. It is a nice reason to have a random day off in the middle of winter. Apparently, it is also a is day for furniture stores and car dealers to have major sales. I’ve ever understood why it seems the best way to celebrate our past presidents. President’s Day is not a big day unless you are me.
Before I was an unemployed bum I worked at a place with something called birthday leave. It is pretty self explanatory. Birthday leave means you get a day off for your birthday. You can take it within two weeks of your birthday. My birthday is tomorrow(more on that tomorrow. Yes I am that vain) so my birthday always falls somewhere close to President’s Day. That means that i could always plan my birthday leave to get a 4 day weekend. Well, I could until I transferred to the terrible place and the terrible boss had the same birthday. That made things more complicated as I had to negotiate with her for who got what day off and she always wanted to take both her birthday leave on one end of the weekend and a random day off at the other thus blocking me from taking either. Until then, though, President’s Day always meant a 4 day weekend for me. I also have signed up for several restaurant apps and email lists that give me free birthday food, so I would spend the two days off going out for free food. I would go to Panera for the free pastry, get coffee as well, and sit for a while with my book and watch people. Panera reading/people watching was one of my favorite things to do. We would generally go out to eat somewhere over the weekend.
Now, it has lost its luster for a couple of reasons. One, I no longer have a job to get a holiday from. Today is the same as every day has been since mid-December. Tomorrow will be the same as today. I won’t even get a day home alone as no one leaves the house to go places anymore. I will go get my free food over the next few days, but I will be picking things up curbside or via drive thru and then going home. No change of scenery for me.
I’ve written before about how used to love the Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day holidays because they were the times I was off work and the kids had school. It was nice to have a day off to do what I wanted and not what they wanted. Even so, when my work decided to change things and open on Columbus Day and move that holiday to Black Friday I was all for the decision. It made sense and still does.
What I didn’t realize was how much I needed that October day off. It was nice to have a holiday every month September through February. Losing that day in October meant a long stretch where you had to use vacation to get a day off. But that’s not why today annoys me.
Today annoys me because even though yesterday was a holiday for us we are open today. That means some people get a nice four day weekend and others have to work today. That means I have to work today. That means I have one extra day added into my Take This Job and Shove It countdown. I’m not sure I’ve ever had the four day weekend since we started this. We don’t alternate which people get the day. If it is your normal weekend to work then you work. That means one group might have several years of working Thanksgiving weekend while others have four days off.
Even though this is my last Thanksgiving working here today annoys me more than it has before.
One more of these and then next year it’s possible both kids will be out of town and it’s even quieter and just two of us(hopefully going out to eat)
I don’t really have much to report on reading and watching this week. I haven’t finished a book this week. I didn’t watch anything new on TV this week. We watched one move – The Spy Who Dumped Me – this week. Not enough for a full blog post. I plan to do my What’s Good in Tater Town post on Sunday as usual, so there’s no need for a “thankful” post. I’m going to work today, so I have no Black Friday things to post. Thus are the hazards of being a boring guy who blogs. Sometimes there is nothing exciting to talk about. Here is a brief synopsis of my nice, quiet Thanksgiving.
I picked my daughter up from college Tuesday afternoon. I worked Wednesday and came home to my son and daughter both being home. We watched the Kentucky basketball game, Survivor and the movie and then went to bed.
Thanksgiving is just the four of us. We slept in a little. Had a nice, late breakfast, watched some of the parade, watched the WKRP Thanksgiving episode on YouTube(which I’ve discovered I can watch on my TV by connecting my phone), watched some football and a little bit of Luther because my son randomly started watching it this week. I read some of my book while all of this was happening. We had dinner around 5, cleaned up and then eventually played two games of Life. It’s not exciting, but it is nice to have a calm day with just the four of us before the crazy Four Christmases schedule we have next month.
I head back to work today and the kids head back to school on Sunday, but we only have another month before we are all together again in Kentucky.
I thought of this one when there was yet another police shooting. We are nearing the time of year when we are supposed to feel sorry for people who feel persecuted because someone used the wrong holiday greeting while they still seem to think that some people don’t deserve basic human rights.
But the topic of this post is something that really bothers me and I decided not to keep quiet. I am appalled that the same people who are all over the internet loudly proclaiming that they are being persecuted because people are saying Happy Holidays are the same people who don’t understand why people are so worked up over police killing unarmed men and the US torturing people. I will loudly proclaim my Christianity and show how Christian I am by demanding that everyone recognize my personal religion by greeting me only with my personal preference during the holiday season. Human life and dignity? Meh. What’s the big deal? They probably deserved it and even if they didn’t, doesn’t mean anything to me personally. Why do I care if some criminal is dead? Someone wished me a Happy Hanukah! That’s what matters! Why do I care if some mooslim from…
We just celebrated Thanksgiving. This has been a breaking news alert. Most people probably ate turkey this week. Most people have probably eaten turkey several times in the last few days. We are now a month away from Christmas and talk has turned to food for Christmas parties and Christmas dinner. I don’t understand the people who want turkey again.
I’m done with turkey. Turkey is OK, but the side dishes are the stars of Thanksgiving for me. I like a turkey sandwich the next day or so after Thanksgiving. It’s fine. It’s a nice change from my normal lunch, but not my favorite. Why would I want to have turkey again?
For me, turkey is Thanksgiving and ham is Christmas. No one should want turkey again this soon. Ham is a superior food. Ham sandwiches are better than turkey sandwiches. When ham is the meat, the side dishes go back to being sides and not the stars. Why would you give that up for more mediocre turkey?
Non-traditional food is fine as well. Why not have a taco party for your office Christmas party? Tacos and burritos are good all the time. There is no offseason. Barbecue was mentioned as a possible entrée for one of the Christmas dinners we will have when we visit family next month. I’m all in for Christmas barbecue. Who would choose turkey over tacos or a barbecue? Crazy people, that’s who.
Turkey is fine. I will give turkey Thanksgiving, but then I’m done until next year.
Yesterday was Halloween. Not exactly breaking news there, I know. The Today Show was talking this morning about how we are now going right in to the holiday season. Starbucks will release their holiday cups tomorrow. Right after the segment a Starbucks commercial aired advertising the release of the peppermint mocha. The commercial was full of snow and Christmas wreaths. Soon we will have the option to listen to Christmas music all the time on the radio. I know there are people who think it’s too soon. They will cry “What about Thanksgiving?” While I do enjoy the day when we give thanks by shoving bread up a dead turkey’s butt, it’s just not the same as Christmas.
Thanksgiving means I get one day off. I stay home. The kids will be home, but one probably just for the day. We will have a nice meal and then we go back to the real world the next day. A nice day, but no major break in my routine.
While Christmas brings the annoying War on Christmas debate(spoiler alert – there is no war on Christmas) and with it the complaints about people saying Happy Holidays and Starbucks cups being generic holiday, it is the best time of the year. Even before we get to the actual holiday, you get a month or more of festivities. Decorations go up and the world looks more festive. There are various holiday parties. People bake cookies for others. Everyone, for the most part, seems a little nicer. People take a break from their regular lives and spend time thinking of others. The world becomes a better place.
For me personally, it comes with a nice break from the real world. We head off to visit family, this year for the first time since last Christmas. We have a three day Christmas starting on Christmas Eve where we spend time with celebrating with family and then we have some extra days to just enjoy being away. I might have time to see a couple of movies at an actual theater. We will go out to eat a few times. We will do fun things with my siblings. It will make me not want to come back home.
I don’t think it’s too early to start celebrating. I welcome the possibility of a kinder, gentler world for a couple of months. I welcome the anticipation of the holiday to take the edge off my day to day that is not the greatest of times at the moment. Join me in taking a step back from life and enjoying the festive season.
We had our holiday party at work yesterday. I’ve got one week left before I am on vacation until January 2. Here is our busy schedule:
Friday – 9 hour drive to my mother-in-law’s house
Saturday – Bonus rest day since we are arriving a day early. Hoping to see Star Wars in the morning and then watching the UK basketball game in the afternoon. Downside – watching the game on a terrible TV.
Sunday – Christmas Eve with one side of my wife’s family. Gifts and food! It is at my mother-in-law’s house this year so no driving for us. Possibly another movie that morning.
Monday – Christmas morning at MIL’s house and when we open all of our immediate family gifts. Hour and a half drive to have lunch with my wife’s dad’s side of the family and then hour and a half drive back.
Tuesday – Two and a half hour drive to my brother’s house to have Christmas with my family. More gift exchanges and more food. Much noisier and chaotic than the previous day’s gatherings and I like it that way.
Wednesday/Thursday – undetermined. We used to go to my mom’s house each day but now that she’s gone we have to find other ways to spend the days. Last year we did indoor mini-golf and ice skating.
Friday – back to MIL’s house. Still hoping to be surprised with tickets to the UK/UL basketball game.
Saturday/Sunday – one of these day will be the 9 hour drive back home. If we go back on Sunday, maybe a movie again on Saturday. New Year’s Eve will be at home watching TV.
Monday – probably a lazy day at home and then back to work.
A lot of driving, but it is a nice end of the year. Family, food, movies, reading. and no work. My kind of life.
ps. If you look at the left hand side of the blog you will now see a link to Facebook and Twitter. The Facebook link is to my Tater page that I created and abandoned. I am going to attempt to remember to post there more. Like it if you are so inclined and follow me on Twitter. I will try to be more interesting there.
In yesterday’s post I blamed everyone who reads my blog(all 10 of you) for not giving me something to write about. One person responded with an idea – my thoughts on Christmas season starting on or before November 11. Here we go:
This might come as a shock to all of you, but I am a bit of a complainer. Given that shocking news, I’m sure at one point I have complained about Christmas music being on the radio or Christmas displays being up in stores too early. I might have actually meant it. If I did, my mind has changed since then.
Maybe I’m getting more sentimental in my old age. Maybe I just look forward to a week off from work. Maybe I look more forward to a week away from real life every year. Whatever the reason(maybe a combination of them all) I am more excited for Christmas every year. This year we got a taste of Christmas when we traveled to Manila. They were already playing Christmas music and had decorations up at the mall. It didn’t annoy me as it did my daughter. I liked the taste of one of my favorite times of the year. I’m ready for Christmas music, Christmas movies and traveling to Kentucky to see family..
I know that people enjoy Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is not as big a deal for me as it is for a lot of people. We don’t travel. No one travels to see us. I make people watch the parade while they complain that it is boring, the four of us eat together, I make them watch football, and then I go back to work the next day. It’s nice to have the day off to spend with my family, but it’s not Christmas.
Every year around this time my Facebook gets flooded with competing complaints about holiday greetings. Seems people are offended no matter what you say. Merry Christmas? I’m offended because I am not a Christian. Happy Holidays? I’m offended because I am a Christian. Happy Hanukkah? I’m offended because I am not Jewish. Happy Kwanzaa? I’m offended even though(or because) I likely have no clue what Kwanzaa is. Someone is likely offended already because I forgot to mention a holiday. I don’t get all of the hand wringing over this.
If you celebrate Christmas, say Merry Christmas. If you celebrate Hanukkah, say Happy Hanukkah. If you celebrate Kwanzaa, say Happy Kwanzaa. If you feel like you want to be all-inclusive in your greeting say Happy Holidays. I won’t be offended in any case. If you are offended because someone is trying to be nice by wishing you a happy holiday and they don’t say the “right” one or just by the fact that they celebrate a different holiday than you that is your problem, not theirs. Life is not all about you. The sooner you realize this the happier you will be.