Opinion | Bruce Butler: Make the most of every day
Common Sense Conversations
As Thanksgiving approaches, I thought it might be refreshing to take a break from COVID-19, politics and divided culture to recount some of the many things I am thankful for this past year. Indeed, I am thankful for my family, good health, my church and the generosity of our community. I am thankful to the firefighters who kept our neighborhood and town safe as the Ptarmigan Fire raged too close to home, and I am thankful to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
I have always liked Thanksgiving because it seemed to evade the commercialism that has sadly consumed the Christmas season. In recent years, the barrier began to erode between the peace and celebration of Thanksgiving and the start of Black Friday the next morning: Eat turkey at 3 p.m. and start shopping at 8 p.m., or you will miss the best deals! If there is one good thing that has come out of COVID-19, it is that many major retailers have decided to give Thanksgiving back to their limited workforce. Besides, most of the 50-inch blockbuster TV deals are still sitting in shipping containers off the southern California coast.
Anyway, that was the direction I was going until I woke up Sunday morning, turned on the TV and learned that it was National Pickle Day. Who knew? It is certainly appropriate to focus on, and look forward to, major holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Independence Day and Mother’s and Father’s days. But it is good advice, if not cliche, to live every day to the fullest. The real existential question of our time is how can you live every day to the fullest if you don’t really know what day it is?
Inquiring minds want to know: How do we get all these specialty days that pay homage to popular condiments and fermented salad items? Does Congress pass all these recognition days? Is there a government agency that keeps track of all the national something-or-other days, weeks and months? Was there funding included in the heavily contested “bipartisan” infrastructure bill for this critical database? Now that the bill has been passed, we can find out what’s in it. See, it’s kind of like Christmas Day!
Please accept my apology for the hint of sarcasm over this serious subject. These special recognition days, weeks and months really are beneficial to the overall well-being and function of our society, and as it turns out, you can have multiple days on the same day. According to NationalToday.com — which appears to be the Google-preferred oracle of national days — in addition to being National Pickle Day, Sunday was also National Papusa Day, World Diabetes Day, Children’s Day, Loosen Up Lighten Up Day, National American Teddy Bear Day, National Spicy Guacamole Day, Operating Room Nurse Day and Remembrance Sunday.
And this week, you can look forward to National Clean Out Your Fridge Day, National Drummer Day, National Recycling Day, I Love to Write Day, America Recycles Day, National Philanthropy Day, Odd Socks Day, Steve Irwin Day, National Fast Food Day, National Button Day, National Unfriend Day, Guinness World Records Day, National Take a Hike Day, National Testosterone Awareness Day, Mickey Mouse Day, Married to a Scorpio Support Day, National Princess Day, National Vichyssoise Day, Use Less Stuff Day, National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day and National Toilet Day. This is not an all-inclusive list, but I have a word limit.
According to the “Submit a Holiday Page,” it appears there really are limitless possibilities for national days, with 2,286 days celebrated and 6,858 ways to celebrate. However, do your research or you could end up submitting a National Redundancy Day.
If you are thinking this process is kind of messy, it is! There is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month, National Pollinators Month, National Heimlich Maneuver Day, Oscar the Grouch Day, National Moonshine Day, Tell a Lie Day and, my personal favorites, New Beer’s Eve followed by National Beer Day and, of course, National Unicorn Day. It should be no surprise that New Year’s Day is also National Hangover Day.
The truth is, with all these days, nobody really knows what day it is. Have a happy Thanksgiving Day!
Bruce Butler’s column “Common Sense Conversations” publishes biweekly on Tuesdays in the Summit Daily News. Butler is a former mayor and council member in Silverthorne, where he has lived for 20 years. Contact him at email@example.com.
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