If you’re anything like me, chances are you get stressed out by the holidays; the shopping, the food, the cleaning, the obligations, the family troubles and the travel. It seems like once a month another holiday comes along to disrupt our lives. Why on New Years and Saint Patrick’s our favorite bars and restaurants jack up the prices and become crowded as all get out, on Valentines you’ve gotta be in love or there’s no point. Halloween means you have to give away your hard earned candy to greedy children. As for Thanksgiving, is it really necessary to cook for ten hours, travel for two days and gorge ourselves on food we never eat at any other time of the year? And don’t even get me started on Christmas.
My plan is simple, so simple that it will and must work. All we do is combine all these obligatory occasions into one day so that they don’t disrupt our schedules for the rest of the year. It will take place the first Saturday after the first full week in May (That’s May 20th, 2006 for the first one). It shall be called “The Amalgamated Holiday #01.”
The rights and rituals of Amalgamated Holiday #01 will be spelled out below and soon you won’t have to worry about redecorating every month or traveling back home every other month, no more confusing algorithms to try and figure out when days fall. Nope, all the inconvenience of the holidays will now be consolidated into one wild day of glory and fun. Here’s how it works:
9:00 am: Get up and put on your costumes. My first Amalgamated Holiday #01 costume is going to be a sexy merchandising associate.
9:30 am: Time to open presents. Also, make sure you hide the egg-shaped matzo. Good luck to the one who finds the Easter-affikomen.
10:00am: Plant a small fir or pine tree. Then trim it; you can decorate it with colorful eggs, green shamrocks, or red-white-and-blue bunting. Put a small figure of the devil on top then throw rocks at it. Whoever knocks the devil off the tree gets to blow out the candles (see next).
11:00 am: Bring out the birthday cake. Put seven candles on top in a straight line. Light the middle one first. Then the others in order until they are all lit. Then blow them out and make a resolution. Yay, now you can eat the yummy cake.
12:00 noon: Call your mother, father and grandparents. Wish them well.
12:30 pm: Eat a special meal consisting of turkey tacos, mashed potatoes w/gravy, green bean casserole, roast lamb and cranberry sauce. It can be set up buffet style. The youngest person in attendance must ask the following questions and the oldest must reply in turn:
Why is today different than all other days?
Because today is Amalgamated Holiday #01.
How are we to celebrate the Armistice that ended the Great War?
We must all say a prayer for those who fought and died in the trenches.
Who shall light the candle that we may remember all those who fought and died in the wars to preserve freedom?
Whosoever finds the egg shaped matzo will light the candle so we may remember all those who fought and died for our freedom.
Is this holiday, which combines elements from all religions, an affront to G-d?
1:30 pm: Play a trick on someone. When you catch them be sure to taunt them mercilessly by calling them an “Amalgamated Holiday #01 fool!”
2:00 pm: Drink green beer. Then begin constructing a small tabernacle for yourself out of cardboard, wood, cloth, or other materials. Decorate your little tabernacle with more bunting of various colors.
3:00 pm-3:30 pm: Fast.
3:30 pm: Spin dreidel. Eat chocolate coins bearing the images of Washington, Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Columbus.
3:31 pm: Drink more green beer. Go to each other’s little tabernacles and proclaim “Trick, treat, thanks or yuletide greetings!” Collect gifts of chocolate hearts, cream-filled chocolate eggs, candy corn or candy canes from each other. Enjoy your candy and more green beer.
4:00 pm: Light up the barbeque grill while singing the Amalgamated Holiday #01 Carol 1A. Begin cooking up the traditional foods; burgers, chicken, hotdogs or ribs, to taste.
4:30 pm: Eat the outdoor meal of barbequed foodstuffs. Feel free to help yourself to more green beer.
5:00 pm: Present your beloved with a small card or present to show your affection. Red hearts are acceptable, also rainbow colored items for homosexual couples. Gay couples may take a few moments to remember the Stonewall Riot.
5:30 pm: More food, more green beer. Maneschevits, or other wine may be consumed after the sun has set.
6:00 pm: Decorate a Chinese Dragon with American flags. Everyone gets underneath and performs a conga line while singing Amalgamated Holiday #01 Carol 2A, which commemorates the invention of agriculture.
7:00 pm: Wheel of cheese is placed at center of table. It represents the Moon. Participants will eat the cheese, drink wine and pay homage to their various Moon deities (Apollo, Esther, Ashta, etc.) at this time. The wine must be drunk from a communal vessel, it may not be placed in individual cups. Before drinking of the communal wine you must admit one wrong you have committed in the previous year. Once the first cheese wheel is complete, other cheeses may be brought out and partaken of by the celebrants.
7:45-8:00 pm: Bob for pomegranates. Liquor may now be consumed.
8:05 pm: Set off fireworks. Consume more wine, green beer or liquor.
9:00-10:00 pm: Individuals Hour. Each participant may take this hour to participate in their own celebration, to make time for remembrances, feasts, or festivities not clearly specified for at any other time.
10:15: pm: Decorate sugar cookies using various sprinkles. Consume the fresh cookies with margaritas, frozen or on the rocks to taste.
11:30 pm: Consume more wine, green beer or liquor. Give praise to Baccus or other deities as seen fit.
11:50 pm: Begin counting down to the New Year.
12 midnight: Drink champagne, kiss your romantic companion, and sing Amalgamated Holiday #01 Carol 1B, which commemorates the defeats of the Syrians, Persians, Turks, Germans, Japanese, Egyptians, Romans, Russians, British, French, and others.
Post-Midnight: Continue celebration until passing-out occurs.
All in all, an excellent holiday in my opinion. I would invite everyone to begin celebrating Amalgamated Holiday #01 in 2006 so we can begin avoiding all the unnecessary stress of the pre-modern scattered holiday concept.
It’ll be one heck of a good time.
Special Thanks to Rachel Fritz for her ideas and inspiration in regards to Amalgamated Holiday #01.