What happened to holidays? When I was growing up everything was shut down on holidays. Just like the U2 song said, “All is quiet on New Year’s Day.”
As a child, I remember that holidays were a true time for family, a time when everyone disconnected from work and school. In all honesty, there was nothing else to do. Everything was closed. Work stopped. Activities stopped. Even stores and restaurants were closed.
These days, it’s less about what’s closed and more about what’s not closed. It seems like most retailers and restaurants now view closing on holidays as an ancient ritual that originated with the horse and buggy. And its not just merchants; the rest of the world goes on as well even on holidays
As I write this, we are barreling down I-85 South to Atlanta to spend Easter weekend watching my daughter play volleyball. It is an annual tournament that draws about 20,000 people from across the country. And, while I’d like to say this is an aberration, I know plenty of families whose children play other sports that also hold events 24/7 with little regard for what else may be on the calendar.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all just agreed that certain days were off limits - if we all just shutdown, on Thanksgiving, for example. If we said: Don’t open stores and restaurants, we won’t be there. Don’t schedule a game, we won’t play.
But, it seems to me that the genie is already out of the bottle. Holidays are now fair game, which means no down time, no off-the-grid days. They are part of a bygone era where cell phones and the Internet didn’t exist, where kids played outside, and only had three television channels to choose from. My era, the good old days, the days when you could count on the “quiet.”
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.