I am struggling to understand something when did we, meaning the United States of America become a nation that over celebrates because we are afraid someone or a specific group will be offended. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with acknowledging the victories of our past and what makes America the greatest country in the 🌍 world. It’s not the honoring or celebrations that I am struggling with, it’s how the true meaning of these holidays has taken on a different meaning.
Think about this each month is dedicated to a group or gender to honor progress, but have we really made progress towards combating the most serious social issues like, race, economics, and gender inequality? We begin each year with Black History month. However, when we look back to recent events at the killings of black men and women this is a reminder of how people of color lives didn’t matter in the past, and they don’t seem to matter now. People are shouting satisfaction of joy over the George Floyd verdict, However has justice really been served?
Then we move to March, Women’s history month, renamed, Women’s Herstory month, singing the glory of the process women have made, or have we? Remember the Virginia Slim cigarette commercial with a tall, slim, sexy White woman with a cigarette in hand celebrating the phrase We’ve come a long way baby. If this is true why do women continue to be paid less than men. Women still have to perform twice as hard to have their skills, talent, and experience acknowledged; and women of color continue to strive to close the gap between them and their counterpart. I am thankful to all the women who continue the work towards making the path for future generations even greater, but why should women have to overcome so many obstacles due to this little thing called gender and color?
April is usually the month for religious observance, the ending of the lenten season marked by Good Friday, Psalm and Easter Sunday, followed by Passover depending on how the yearly calendar is arranged. Yet, with all the fasting, spiritual reflection, and a toning from sins. We continue to live in a society that shows very little compassion towards ” thy neighbor.” People are living in segregated communities, and we don’t welcome each other to worship with us and some choose to ignore the commandment ” thou shalt not kill.” When will White people stand up and admit that the mistreatment of all other races is wrong. This white supermaicts attitude and separatism is what’s killing the soul of America, yet, they say, In God We Trust.
May & June the months to honor thy Mother and Father, but there is a problem with equality. Father’s do feel that there is enough noise and respect given to Father’s day, unlike Mother’s day. Single mothers are honored as being brave and independent, but single father’s don’t receive the same praise. Another new trend that takes away from honoring Dads on their day, women who are the head of their house ( meaning no father is present) fathers day for them is celebrated as Happy Single Mothers day, most people see this as disrespectful towards men. Others Say that men who choose not to take part in raising their children should not receive any praise. Mother’s day is highly commercialized, the restaurants are always full, and mother’s don’t seem to get a break on her ” special day.” Pay attention the next time you see a Mother’s day or Father’s day commercial, there is a big difference between honoring Mom with a diamond, while giving Dad power tools, a tie or a lawn mower.
Moving on, Memorial day, July 4th, labor day, Veteran day, are all honored by parades and big retail sales. I know people who intentionally wait for these holidays to purchase major items like home appliances, cars, and electronics like expensive phones and computers. In many communities these holidays are BBQ days. Hmmm..I wonder how that got started.
Coming into the home stretch…harvest season begins with Halloween, trick or treat, tons of sweets and stomach aches for the little ones. Thanksgiving ( the guest of honor Tom the turkey). Some say this is a day to be Thankful, stuff our stomachs, watch football, while having seconds and thirds. Over the years, I’ve been paying attention to how many people are beginning to celebrate Thanksgiving as ” Native American day.” I began my own tradition for Turkey Day. Before the pandemic I served each year at the Salvation Army feeding the homeless and other people who don’t want to spend the day home alone. Then there is the finale, Christmas, ( I celebrate Hanukkah) Christmas is the mother of all commercialized holidays. Children are duped to believe in St. Nick and his naughty or nice list. Black Friday sales, oh the shopping and spending, shopping and spending. Why so much insanity and rushing? Has anyone ever stopped to ask why so much stress to create a magical celebration? What is the truth behind the celebration of Christmas? During the holiday season of 2020 the pandemic kept me from traveling to see my mother. I was worried about her beginning alone. That was the most important thing to me. This year 2021 holiday season, I am hitting the road to spend time with my mother in South Carolina. She doesn’t have a list of gift requests, she is simply happy to see me.
After we have decked the halls, we ring the bells of a New Year, just to start twelve months of celebrations all over again. This pandemic has helped me see the importance of the nearest of my closest friends and family. For me this is priceless.