While I forever mourn the loss of Bonfire Night (Google it, be prepared for effigy burning), and Burns Night (involves no actual burning) that doesn't mean I haven't gotten on board with American holidays, and also the use of the non-word "gotten." Some of these holidays are better than others, though, especially as I like to imagine I can see through the crap with biting foreign insight, even though I'm almost certainly making a series of adorable mistakes. Here are, once and for all, the completely objective written by a foreigner power rankings of American holidays.
You'll be shocked to hear that, in Britain, we call Thanksgiving "Thursday." Thursday has no holidays. In fact, there's not a single British holiday that falls on a Thursday and Friday, which is an oversight really. That four-day weekend is just one of the many, many excellent things about Thanksgiving that mean it should be a required holiday around the world.
All that matters here is that you're a) capable of eating an outlandish amount of food and b) thankful right now for all the stuff you have. Thanksgiving isn't like Christmas, where you're thankful up until the point you don't get that GODDAMN PONY I ASKED FOR and then you're in a huff for the rest of Christmas. No, there aren't even any presents. The only present you can legitimately gift someone on Thanksgiving is food, which really is the greatest gift of all.
2. Veteran's Day/Memorial Day
See? All the best holidays are about being thankful for things. Called Remembrance Day in the UK, we don't have an official holiday for it there (instead having two minutes' national silence on the closest Sunday), and I wish we did. We should be thankful for how we got here, and we should be thankful for what we have now. This is what good holidays are made of.
3. MLK Day
This was a home run, America. More things to be extraordinarily thankful for. The parades are a nice touch.
4. Labor Day
I mean, sure, it's there, but until it's actually legal to form unions in all states, why is it there? In Europe we get 25 days holiday a year, by law, and we've unionized stuff you didn't even know existed. We don't have a holiday to celebrate this achievement, but we fucking well should, given the state of American labor laws.
5. Presidents Day
According to my extraordinarily limited research, this just honors George Washington. It seems odd to me to honor a president with a day. You know what? National leaders were honored enough already. Hell, George has a huge rock with his face carved into it. He's been celebrated enough. You'd never get a holiday to honor a leader in Europe. By the time they're through leading us, we hate them too much.
6. Colombus Day
No. Come on.
Debt, guilt, a tree that wrecks your carpet, endless cards, house displays for some reason, and on top of this you don't even have Boxing Day. Boxing Day is the day after Christmas in the UK, which is also a national holiday. The only good part of Christmas was the food, and the best part of that was that we got an extra day to digest the food. Having one single day for Christmas, which is expected to be a feast of extravagance, and then bringing people back to work at 9 a.m. the following day is essentially barbaric. Civilize yourselves, America.
8. Independence Day
Fuck you guys.
Halloween over here is the absolute worst. I've never seen an entire cottage industry built up around Halloween before, selling costumes that cost $2 to make for $40 in depressing abandoned stores. It's not even a day off. You have to go back to work the next day. Oh, and work the day before probably featured some people dressing up and playing "Monster Mash" at an excessive volume on repeat for six hours. I hate dressing up.
In the UK it's far less of a big deal, and you know why? Because it's a crap holiday. Have you seen the traffic on Halloween night? There's not even a gap between "shit, I need to get to the party" and "well, I'm pretty drunk, time to drive home" traffic. THEY ALL MERGE TOGETHER. If I never see another American Halloween as long as I live I will be delighted.
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