We Need More Holidays

May 5 is Liberation Day in the Netherlands, commemorating the end of the Nazi occupation in 1945. It’s a national holiday this year, but not next year, and not again until 2015-a quinquennial national holiday, although it used to be annual. I’ve been told the reason for its partial dismantling is that the government wanted to reduce time off, and, with the passage of time, fewer people remembered or felt so strongly about the underlying historical event.

While Europeans work less for pay than Americans, I hate to see Europe even begin to move to what I view as the American low-level equilibrium of short vacations, few holidays and long hours of market work. Instead, since competition does not seem to be leading us to work less, perhaps we should have more nationally mandated holidays (always on a Monday). Martin Luther King, Jr., Day was a good start; how about others-Adam Smith‘s birthday? Suggest your favorite.


KarenS

A while ago our company added a holiday for Deer Rifle Season opening day. So many people took that day off, or called in sick, it was easier to let everyone have the day off. Oh, officially they call the day off "Veteren's Day", but it usually falls a few weeks from Veteren's Day, and always on the opening day of Rifle Season.

Tim

Can someone please tell me why we don't have Election day off? Don't we want to encourage people to vote? The US has a horrible voter turnout percentage. and maybe if people didn't have to try to vote around their work schedule they would be more likely to take the time to vote.

Matt

I disagree. Let the employee/employer decide when to take time off. I prefer productivity anyways. Just look what it has gotten us!

tyler

We rarely celebrate some facets of society. I suggest All-Perverts Day, which honors our most demented hedonists. An entire day where lechers, libertines, and deviants accept adoration in the streets, rather than hiding their perversions. Maybe everyone else would stay inside and play board games or whatever. But, for instance, if you were F1 Boss Max Mosley, this would be the one day of the year when you couldn't be ostracized for wanting to have a Nazi hooker sex orgy because you had issues with your father's involvement with fascism. And, although maybe you wouldn't agree with adding the adverb 'sorely' to the rest of this sentence you must agree with it as follows, that is something lacking in America right now.

Matt

The first Monday in April should be a national holiday. Baseball would cooperate with Opening day (day baseball), college basketball gives us their national championship game, and nature gives us spring.

James

Simple fact is that the more time the workers have off aka for a national holiday means that the workers would more likely become relaxed making their productivity higher in the work place. Also, celerbrating a national holiday brings the country together and unifies everyone.

TP

How about a holiday on every day that ends in the letter "y."

Eric M. Jones

I like the "dog day" at the local swimming pool. How about making it the LAST day of the swimming season? Then they can drain the pool.

Tim

Isn't it the old adage that politicians don't want to make election day a national holiday because they want the unemployed, those most dependent on government, to vote them back in?

Rudiger in Jersey

There is a Unofficial Holiday that is bigger than Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Thanksgiving and Easter.

It is SUPERBOWL Sunday in the first week in February. Like Thanksgiving, the whole nation collectively feasts while they watch the same event on giant flatscreens. They enjoy the same commercials. And go to the toilet at the same moment. A real coming together physically and temporally, and even physiological convergence, unlike any other holiday.

80% of Americans drink on that day. 40% go to work hungover on Monday. Productivity suffers and accidents happen.

There is a unpopular, variably-observed holiday honoring the contributions of all Black Americans in Martin Luther King Day in late January. Though Americans are supposed to read and mediatte on the writings and teachings of MLK and practice nonviolence and and sing spirituals, I have not seen this. Rather for 95% of Americans, it is a frivolous day spent at the shopping mall and in Mattress sales.

Super Bowl Sunday is by contrast a very popular holiday rivaling Thanksgiving. As 80% of Pro Footbal players are Black, it is a celebration of Black Achievement: Athletics and Leadership.

We should combine MLK day to Superbowl Sunday to make it a 3 day weekend celebrating Black Athletes, Leaders and Integration. Also this would enable recupperation from hangovers on the following monday and make the weekend more festive and leisurely. Sure you can celebrate Martin Luther King's teachings--but why can't you do it on bed Monday morning while trying to overcome the jackhammer oppression of hangovers.
The empathetic King would approve.

Call this Holiday: King- Super Day. A celebration of Athletics and History.

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JamesV

I would love to trade New Year's Day for Election Day.

Let's get rid of one more (unneeded) excuse to party way too hard, for one less excuse for people not engage in the democratic process.

Guille

What about a government mandated tea party day?
The inventor's day is a good idea. More so the voting day, so your ability to vote does not depend on your ability to step out of the office.
As a person from Latin America, I am surprised this country does not have holidays for Easter. Many countries have Thursday and Friday off. I am not religious, but I could use the long weekend. We are in a bad equilibrium!
Cheers,

Jeffrey

Man. Commenters here are boring. Have some fun!!! Greece isn't where it is because of holidays, and we're not rich because we don't have holidays. It's a light-hearted post. You guys really DO need more time off!

Alex

Government mandated holidays are the worst. Why should the government be allowed to create holidays? If people start taking a day off to observe something (ala 9/11) and it happens en-mass it will be adopted by decent employers, and then the government can step in.

Also note that holiday's hurt certain types of companies disproportionatly. A mandated holiday in March/April hurts accountants and accounting firms more than one in August, which would hurt flower salesmen (or something). Seems like silly social engineering with little benefit for what will certainly reduce productivity.

htb

Having just clicked the 'submit' button, I see that my previous comment is badly phrased and will be misunderstood:

I mean that additional holidays will only benefit people that meet both of two conditions:

(1) They are very high up on the economic ladder (so that their leisure is more limited than they wish)

and

(2) Taking a day off doesn't automatically cut their pay. (e.g., lawyers who bill no hours get no pay; physicians who see no patients get no pay; people running small businesses earn less when they work less.)

AaronS

What is needed is wiser allocation of holidays. For instance, every American holiday should fall on either a Friday or a Monday, enabling workers to have a three-day weekend.

Further, all the months have (bank) holidays except: March, April, June, and August. We MUST find something for these months--I suggest the following: For March, SPRING DAY; for April (Somebody or another's birthday perhaps?); for June, SUMMER DAY (on the Friday or Monday closest to June 21); and for August, well my birthday would be perfect!

However, again, the main thing to me is to ensure that holidays don't fall in the middle of the week. What's the use of getting a day off only to have to go right back to work the next day? Just push every weekday holiday to the nearest weekend and--viola!--we're all happier.

In any case, there should be, it seems, a holiday each month.

As for Christmas, except for retail and delivery, most of the businesses I know of are real slow then. So why not have a Christmas to New Year's Break.

While I'm at it, it just seems to me that seasons should be on the FIRST DAY of a month, and not somewhere in the boring middle. So, from now on, Winter starts January 1, Spring starts April 1, Summer starts July 1, and Fall starts October 1.

All in favor????

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Wendy Altenhof

I work in the auto industry, and my employer generously gives us two week-long shut downs each year.
We work on most of the 3-day weekend Mondays (MLK Day, President's Day, Columbus Day).

The office shuts down from Christmas Eve to January 2nd and the working days are paid holidays. We also shut down for a week at the 4th of July, but for that shut down, one vacation day is subtracted from each employee's accumulated vacation. (We get between 10 and 20 days per year, depending on seniority.)

Since everyone is gone at the same time, it reduces the amount of advance preparation and catch-up after each week off.

Erik

@zoltan Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day in June. When Gilles Duceppe comes down through your chimney and gives all the French children toys that he stole from the rest of us. At least that's what I'm told. I'm from Ontario so we never celebrated it.

ElCid09

April 19th/ Patriots' Day. Anniversary of the start of the War of Independence.

One could argue that what it commemorates is even more important than July 4th. Without armed men backing it up, the Declaration of Independence would have just been words on paper.

Brad

I'm always surprised at how little love Easter gets. It seems to me that it should be "The big one" as opposed to Christmas.

Is there a way to have a "Get away from your family" holiday? You know....a holiday where you just get to do whatever you want and don't have to feel obligated to visit your extended family if you don't want to.

The last Friday in July...."Family Holiday".