In the end, it's one day that makes a holiday special

We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep.


– Earl Nightingale


I’m going out on a limb here, but I think we take too much time off.

Talk to an older person, and they will tell you what it was like back when holidays were special.

Thanksgiving was one day, a Thursday. Christmas was one day, Dec. 25. If it fell on a Sunday (as it did last year) that was good because you could focus on its religious significance, but everyone would think you were a slacker if you suggested: “You know, I think I’ll take off Dec. 26, too.”

Memorial Day – though often ignored in the South as “Yankee” Memorial Day – was always May 30. It floated about the week like the Fourth of July.

All this changed about 40 years ago when Congress read between the lines of the U.S. Constitution and found some need to give its government employees a new gift.

It invented the “three-day weekend.”

Now the holidays were diluted.

Whatever their significance, their purpose, the leader they recognized, it’s all spread out over a period that tempts us to focus on something else.

That’s the nature of three-day weekends.

The next thing you know, the private sector began adopting three-day weekends left and right, usually justifying it by suggesting: “Well, if we don’t let our employees have three-day weekends, then they will all leave us for the public sector.”

These days, it seems, three-day weekends are credited to the Founding Fa­thers and folks get a bit crabby if they have to work them.

They are not the only ones complaining.

You might have noticed that just about every holiday has not only its champions, but also its defenders who maintain that no one pays any attention to the “true meaning of (fill in the holiday here.)”

Bottom line? A three-day weekend means America’s productivity takes the day off, too.

Stuff that would have been made doesn’t get made. Stuff that would have been fixed stays broken.

It shouldn’t. We’re at our best when we’re busy.

And a holiday is best when it keeps the power of its date, whenever that falls.


TODAY’S JOKE: Jim Hope, of Syl­vania, Ga., shares this one.

It seems a man was telling his friend that he and his wife had a serious argument the night before.

“But it ended,” he said, “when she came crawling to me on her hands and knees.”

“What did she say?” asked the friend.

“Well,” he replied, “she said, ‘Come out from under that bed, you coward!’ ”


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