Written by Mark Golden
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Saturday, 18 November 2006

image for The Holi-daze Are Coming!
730 shopping days 'til Xmas?

It was a mistaken grandiose vision of (perhaps) a better world; one with less stress, less preoccupation; one which created more productivity--and the idea of less spending was also on the table! Rushing around would vanish. Lists of items that bring glory and allay fears would just be set away into a dresser drawer. The home would go on as usual without any decorative chores to be annually and repetitively done. Items in storage would have a heavier, thicker layer of dust on them. A collective heaving, a universal sigh would ripple across the land as the first non-holiday date passed and the next one in line was seen on the "holiday-free" horizon.

What was considered a joke in a keynote speech at the International Holiday Faire Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, soon grew into a form similar to freshly mixed, hardening cement! The significant idea was to institute a "one year on, one year off" holiday regimen. The concept of actually finishing a workout, turning off the holiday treadmill and getting down off it with time to move on to something (anything) else, was very attractive to all ears. The idea of a "non-year-every-other-year" is really nothing new. Benjamin Franklin had scribbled notes into his journal in 1781 suggesting the same thing. He never proposed it to any colleagues of his, fearing he would be regarded as a "anti-religious and anti-patriotic" lunatic.

The sense of a "year" free from the bother of often dangerous travel, fancy foods to prepare, special dinnerware, table debates, leftovers to parcel out and consume, shopping in crowded stores, expenses for gifts, long distance phone calls and seeing certain people we just don't like nor get along with...created a "hush" in the convention hall. What was meant as a whimsical jibe stirred a pandemonium of applause. The mix of vendors, merchants and everyday shoppers raised their beleaguered heads a little higher exuding an invisible, unspoken "Yes!" Some said it was like a "universal plea" for the relief that an eventless twelve months would surely bring. The "holi-daze" would be kept in-check for the first time in modern history! The "never meant to be taken seriously" idea made its way to the local newspapers and onto the ever waiting, ever willing, always hungry Internet.

If pursued, the legal issues would sadly take years in the courts. Changing calendars would not be much of an effort. Of course there would be those who would oppose such a "normal year--holiday year--normal year", etc. When queried, store owners said that they might "enjoy" it and were willing to accept the financial losses in lieu of the rebounding following "holiday year" spending spree. All kids, upon hearing of the idea, rejected it, perceiving no birthday nor holiday gifts. Greeting card companies gave a loud sounding "Hrrumpft!" promising to sue whoever would need the suing.

Yet, the enormous amount of "extra" time people would have could spark untold resources of creativity, inventions, explorations, or literature. A generation with holiday free-ness could do the unplanned, the unexpected and maybe the impossible!

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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