In the past few months, I've read articles about making Election Day a national public holiday (i.e. an official day off work) and making the Monday after the Super Bowl a national public holiday. And if St. Patrick's Day weren't on a weekend day this year, I'd probably be reading articles about making that a national public holiday.
So... if we were actually going to get a new day off, what day should it be?
I've broken down the cases for and against 11 contenders and, yes, I'm willing to speak before Congress and consult on this matter should it ever come up.
Here are 11 potential new U.S. public holidays, all of which should be days off work.
The Bud Bowl could also be a public holiday.
Super Bowl Monday.
Why it should be a public holiday: The Super Bowl is as American as any event gets... participation numbers around the country are massive... there's a lot of drinking involved, which certainly makes the next day of work both difficult and unproductive... when the game goes long and we have work the next day, it really affects our ability to watch the very special postgame episode of Glee or Elementary.
Why it should not be a public holiday:The NFL is drunk enough on power already, if it had a national holiday we never would've gotten rid of the replacement refs... it's a dicey precedent to start making holidays centered around the idea that Americans should feel confident about getting drunker.
Why it should be a public holiday: It's hard to focus on school or work when people are dressed in costumes... Halloween is becoming bigger and bigger and the demand for more formal recognition is coming... parents currently have to rush home to take kids trick-or-treating.
Why it should not be a public holiday: Other proposals make more sense, like officially moving Halloween to the last Saturday in October instead of celebrating on the 31st... without office costume contests on Halloween, how else could you figure out which of your coworkers are secretly deviants?
Why it should be a public holiday: More people would vote (in theory)... America's last line of defense on voter fraud could finally be a group of polling site volunteers with a median age under 84.
Why it should not be a public holiday: If we're going to demand a new day off, let's spend our capital on getting one that happens every year, not every four years (no, I don't think we'd get off any Election Day other than the presidential election day, no matter how much YOU think the off-year local March primaries are equally important).
You too can be the prime minister of Ireland.
St. Patrick's Day.
Why it should be a public holiday: Plenty of people already take the day off, so it's not an especially productive day... Congress could finally get its approval rate up by turning this into a holiday... the It Gets Better people would love how much this day off would curb our schools' pinching epidemic.
Why it should not be a public holiday: Once this becomes a holiday, people realize it makes more sense for the day after to be the one with no work... like the Super Bowl, it's dicey to create holidays around binge drinking... Twitter would be temporarily outraged about Congress and OBAMA creating an American holiday around an Irish tradition.
A day celebrating Hispanic culture.
Why it should be a public holiday: One-seventh of the country is Hispanic (and that number's going up)... unlike most of the pipe dreams on this list, this one actually seems like it could happen, so I say we jump on the bandwagon and try to ride the winning caballo.
Why it should not be a public holiday: The fact that I had to write "a day celebrating Hispanic culture" shows there's no obvious choice... Cesar Chavez Day seems like the go-to, but since that hasn't happened yet, clearly it's missing the X-factor needed to get the push... Cinco de Mayo obviously isn't right, they barely even celebrate that in Mexico... Rand Paul has been saving at least two Tolstoy novels to read out loud in his efforts to make sure this holiday never happens.
I vaguely remember this movie.
Why it should be a public holiday: People would be more romantic if they didn't have to work all day... single women wouldn't hate going to work and seeing the steady delivery of flowers to their non-single coworkers... people would spend more money on day trips and elaborate-slash-expensive gestures of love, something something economy.
Why it should not be a public holiday: It feels like letting Valentine's Day in would just open the flood gates... the Hallmark lobby already controls our emotions, they can't also control our government... everyone knows politicians hate love.
Christmas Eve Day.
Why it should be a public holiday: This country puts everything it's got into Christmas, seems contradictory to force people into work on Christmas Eve... kids are all off school anyway, so it's not like this would be giving those punks any extra benefit... I don't have official "numbers" or "statistics" to back this up, but I'm fairly sure no one has ever gotten anything substantial accomplished at work on December 24th.
Why it should not be a public holiday: It's one thing to make a religious holiday a national public holiday, it might be pushing too far to make the day before a religious holiday a national public holiday... without stressed parents hustling from work to the toy store, the odds decrease of ripped-from-the-headlines inspiration for Jingle All the Way 2.
The Monday after Daylight Savings Time.
Why it should be a public holiday: This is universally the hardest day of the year for people to get up and go to work... one study says the day's a lost cause anyway (with $434 million in lost productivity)... it's clear the government still isn't ready to get rid of the time changes, so at least throw us a bone.
Why it should not be a public holiday:"People be sleepy" probably isn't enough to warrant a day off... probably makes more sense and would be easier just to move the time change to 2:00 A.M. Saturday from 2:00 A.M. Sunday.
Lines at the Post Office. Tell me about it! Right, ladies?
Why it should be a public holiday: Would spread out the inevitable rush of people trying to get their taxes in last minute... gives people time to go blow their refund (could turn into another Black Friday-type day)... could actually turn into a day people look forward to.
Why it should not be a public holiday: Not really an ideal day for businesses to grind to a halt... if it's a public holiday, by definition, the post offices are supposed to close, and that wouldn't work (the USPS doesn't need any more trauma right now)... what if it leads to a small uptick in people jumping off bridges?
April Fool's Day.
Why it should be a public holiday: Every year, people inevitably get fired for ill-advised April Fool's pranks at work, so we'd trade this one day off for those people not winding up with unlimited days off.
Why it should not be a public holiday: Yeah, this is the least likely candidate on the list, but at least it made the list, unlike Earth Day, Groundhog Day and Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Why it should be a public holiday: To give the day its due weight and allow people to dutifully and properly memorialize what happened... can feel a bit uncouth to conduct typical business on this day.
Why it should not be a public holiday: Americans aren't particularly experienced at somber days of remembrance and would most likely, eventually, turn it into a day of barbecues and three-day weekend trips to Mexico... we really don't need September 11th turning into a day of mattress sales.
This post was originally published on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 11:00:00 AM under the category News & Politics.