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With 50 in the Rearview Mirror

Incidental Wisdom: 8 Holidays We Should Have (Yet Don't)

Celebrating the unsung everyman

6. The Feast of Random Acts of Anonymous Kindness

Once, on an ordinary Tuesday in my neighborhood, 49 people in a row paid for the Starbucks order of the individual next in line. I must have had Kate Gosselin in the car behind me, because my bill was $37, but the spirit was uplifting, and it lasted throughout the day. If it doesn't merit a flag or a rubber bracelet, maybe a Facebook page? We could describe our random acts (anonymously, of course).

7. Dog Day

I don't mean the sweltering days in August. I mean a day that canonizes canines. Bake them liverwurst cupcakes with salmon frosting. Do not force them to wear garments that are absurd for predators, including a berth in your backpack. Laud and glorify them for the absurdly upbeat and heartfelt companions they are.

(Why did I not suggest Cat Day? Ask any cat or cat owner. Every day is cat day.)

8. Approve of Someone You Disapproved of Day

Whether you're a tea party conservative or a daisies-down-the-gun-barrel liberal, you're guilty of being smug about your own kind and judgmental about the other kinds. So, Sarge, take a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person to lunch, or at least leave a doughnut. And lady with the fish symbol on your car that says "Darwin," indicating you vote for evolution over creationism, admit that you don't know for sure that God didn't create Charles Darwin. Even Darwin wasn't sure about that. When I was a college student, I went to church with a girl who was part of a sect so strict she made Sister Wendy look like a heretic. Everything I saw and heard made me think everyone there was daft as a brush — except my friend's face. It was like the morning sun, and made me feel like a truly good person.

Also of interest: Avoiding absurd New Year's resolutions. >>

Jacquelyn Mitchard, the best-selling author of 20 books, lives near Madison, Wis., with her family. Her most recent novel, Second Nature: A Love Story, was published in September by Random House.

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