How Long is the Holiday Season?

I’ve heard others say they’re happy that the holiday season is over, which strikes me as a bit odd. After all, the President’s Day weekend has just begun. What’s more, the gift and card sections at my local grocery and drug stores are filled with stuff for Easter. So that got me to thinking: How long does the holiday season last?

One fundamental issue to be settled is the definition of a holiday. Is it a weekday when most people don’t work, which is the dictionary definition?

As I understand it, the traditional holiday season lasts from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are usually when people travel to see other family members they haven’t seen for a while. But if we use family events as determination of holidays, then we could include Easter in that list. The 4th of July (or Independence Day if you prefer) here in the U.S. may also meet that standard if you travel to meet family.

Yet Easter falls on a Sunday and we don’t observe Easter Monday here in the U.S. I once worked for a company that swapped Good Friday (that is, the Friday before Easter Sunday) with President’s Day, but most people get together on Easter Sunday…and then have to rush back home Sunday night (or take Monday off) to get back to work.

Perhaps the holiday season should be judged by the amount of cards are available. But that’s not a true barometer as we don’t see many cards available until Christmas, and cards last through June with Father’s Day and graduations.

Halloween is now a big event for adults as much as for children, and Valentine’s Day is also a huge event. Both events are celebrated at schools and workplaces, but these aren’t holidays. Perhaps the holiday season should start with candy on Halloween and end with candy on Easter.

Maybe I should just stop thinking so hard and just enjoy (or, in some cases, strenuously avoid) each holiday as it comes up. Happy President’s Day!