My kids asked me the other night what my favorite holiday is. In our home, we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas and I had to consider which one I like best. But then, I decided, neither one makes the cut. Oh, I love the decorations and the religious significance of both holidays. Like anyone else, I like the presents, food, and parties. It’s fun to see snow on Christmas morning and to meet up with family you haven’t seen in awhile. However, I don’t enjoy the craziness, busyness, and expectations.
My favorite holiday is actually July 4th. Even though I don’t get any tangible presents, I also don’t have to shop for, choose, buy, and wrap gifts. The holiday is a reminder of a great gift we all enjoy — freedom in a democratic country. I also like all things barbequed, cold soda on a hot day, ice-cream, parades, patriotism, the colors red and blue, a day off from work in the middle of summer, swimming in an outdoor pool, water balloons, air-conditioning, face paint, flip-flops, and balloons. Oh, and the best part is that the day is capped off with fireworks.
In my holiday balance sheet, I have to give July 4th almost all positive marks. The only downside I really see is that sometimes it’s sticky-hot on July 4th. Otherwise, it’s all good to me. Most other holidays have a lot more downsides even though they all have positives. I don’t love turkey or football, so Thanksgiving is out. Easter is very significant to me as a Christian and it usually involves a lot of chocolate, but you have to get dressed up. Halloween also involves chocolate but it stresses me out to come up with a clever costume for myself and make increasingly complicated costumes for my kids. Valentine’s Day also involves gifts and they have to be some kind of meaningful romantic gift, preferably red and in the shape of a heart — too much pressure. Plus, if Valentine’s Day falls on a weeknight, supervising homework and swim lessons takes the shine off the specialness of the day.
All considered, I think July 4th has the other holidays beat by a mile. But that’s just on my balance sheet. I suspect many of you out there love every aspect of Christmas including the gift-giving and decorating. Others probably associate Thanksgiving with some of your best memories.
Whatever you love and value this holiday season and whatever is on your personal balance sheet, I hope that your holiday season is happy, peaceful, and spent with those you love.