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With 50 in the Rearview Mirror

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

Celebrating the unsung everyman

After the barrage of colored lights and multiple pies with various berries, I got to thinking about some holidays we really do need.

1. The Homemakers' Holiday Breakdown

Set it for the first week of January, when the hoopla from the multiple holidays has died down. Just as the Brits have made a tradition of their Boxing Day — a national bank holiday instituted to give boxes of good things to the underprivileged — set this time aside, too. Give it to the one in the family who makes the sauce for the goose (and the gander), buys and wraps the presents, engineers the trimming of the tree, and runs for the Cuervo when 17 strings of lights blow because of a single failed bulb the size of a comma. Whoever these people are, they deserve a holiday, complete with packages of unknown contents, and a home-cooked meal they didn't prepare. Witnessing the spaniel-like gratitude, celebrants will be wroth for not having instituted this sooner.

See also: Starting life over after age 50.

Terrier with pink bone - celebrations of pets, reading and other holidays we should begin to observe

Dedicate a day to celebrate your furry friend. — Photo by Randy M. Ury/Corbis

2. Thy Brother's Keeper (and Thy Sister's)

If you like them at all, they're more than just people you fought with about the bathroom mirror. A great sibling has a price beyond rubies. A great sibling remembers more than just your own rendition of you and is the company you keep when all your friends are sick of hearing about it. High time we honored that bond with homage and tithing — or at least chocolate and flowers and a handwritten letter.

3. The National Festival of Sleeping Around

Oh, out upon you! That isn't what I meant at all.

I'm as bored as anyone else by hearing about all the things that the ancient Japanese considered to be sacraments (tea, sex, poetry, soup), but am all "domo arigato" when it comes to sleep. Americans have a truly bizarre sleep debt, and it shows — in the cosmetics bill. A good night's sleep can make $33.50 look like a million bucks, and feel like James Franco does when he looks in the mirror. Now consider, a full night and day's sleep, without guilt? Imagine cops in South Boston high-fiving during rush hour.

4. Mental Health Day

Long a standard of workplaces, there should be a no-harm, no-foul holiday (not a "personal day," which has become a euphemism for a funeral), on the same day every year, when everyone gets to think it over, talk it over, do it over and generally come back out among 'em, refreshed.

5. Read in Public Friday

Let's call it … July 15. Everyone gets to pick out a beach, a park bench, a porch swing, a library or a window seat, or a car seat, and wear your colors. Show that you read, that you love and believe in reading — whether it's with a hardcover book or some iteration of an electronic reader. Kids won't get the day off from school for this, except in the state of Oregon. Those of us who work won't get a day off with pay. (And, boy, would it ever be not a bad idea if we did.) Whoever reads can never be a prisoner.

Next: What about a random act of kindness? >>

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