By Haddon Libby
Is it me or does it seem like 2019 has had more long weekends or celebrations than usual?
First was New Year’s and the Palm Springs Film Festival. Next came Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, the two weekends of championship football, whatever had most school-aged children out of school for a long weekend last week followed by Valentine’s Day and now President’s Day.
For many, the President’s Day weekend is when annual bonus checks hit bank accounts. It is also the holiday where loud salesmen clog broadcast airwaves with ‘crazy’ sales baiting you to come in and exploit their temporary insanity at prices that cannot be beaten so long as you do not comparison shop.
Once President’s Day is behind us, we can all get back to work without the constant distraction of a celebration, sale or commemoration, right?
Not if you don’t want to.
In an increasingly commercialized society, we can break away from our regular routines with any number of excuses to recognize something or someone.
For example, on February 20th we get the Love Your Pet Day. Before the recently invented Singles Awareness Day (aka SAD), people came up with Love Your Pet Day.
According to HolidaysCalendar.com, this day of celebration is less than twenty years old. As Americans are increasingly treating their pets like children, spending on our usually-furry friends has soared, exceeding $70 billion last year on our 94 million cats, 90 million dogs and pets.
In a warm-up for Cinco de Mayo, we get National Margarita Day on Friday, February 22nd. No one is sure who came up with this special day. So long as it falls on a Friday, everyone seems cool with its questionable lineage.
Ending out February is a bit of a downer with Rare Disease Day. The Canadian Organization of Rare Disorders chose February 29th, 2008 as the day of recognition as rare disorders are like leap years. A number of other countries joined in on the celebration in 2009 and since its tough to celebrate a day that doesn’t exist three out of every four years, February 28th was next up.
Let us not forget Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday on March 5th. This holiday did not originate so that people could drink Hurricanes and throw cheap beads at women who lift their tops. Its origins go back to a Pagan celebration of fertility and spring. According to The History Channel, when Christianity came to Rome, church leaders found it helpful to incorporate pagan rituals into their new faith. As such, people got to eat, drink and carry on before settling on forty days of fasting for Lent.
On March 9th, keep an eye out for National Meatball Day festivities. Locally, the City of Cathedral City has a meatball contest where the police, fire and administrative departments compete for city bragging rights while local restaurants do to the same. There is a nominal charge for admission which includes the chance to taste some mighty good meatballs.
For anyone with a school-aged child, March 14th is Pi Day….you know, 3.14 ad infinitum? This day of recognition first happened at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1988 when participants consumed fruit pies while marching in a circle.
Why? They were eating pie for pi’s sake! It is a geek version of Desert X.
The House of Representatives in 2009 during the peak of the worst recession in seventy years made March 14th National Pi Day. My guess is that they acknowledged pi because they knew people couldn’t afford cake.
Haddon Libby is the Founder and Managing Partner of Winslow Drake Investment Management, a fiduciary advisory firm. For more information or to contact Haddon, please visit www.WinslowDrake.com.