March Prompt: Festivus
by Carrie Conner
Vampire Weekend and Madonna sing about it. Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet acted in it. English writer Stanley Middleton won a Booker Prize for his novel about it.
Holidays mark cultural and religious time, commit inspirational icons to memory, and celebrate the things we love. From “Holidays” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart,
Virtually every day is a holiday, and March is bursting with them. We honor religious, holy days such as Ash Wednesday and Purim. We observe Fat Tuesday, March Equinox, Daylight Saving Time, World Poetry Day, International Women’s Day and Cesar Chavez Day. There are plenty of things to celebrate this month, such as Barbie’s birthday and the evening set aside to worship a gold statue and sparkly-dress designers.
We also have “unofficial” holidays that sound made up, but I found them on the Internet so they must be true. Take National Ear Muff Day for example, National Goof-Off Day and Multiple Personality Day. Turkey isn’t the only food to take holiday center stage. The lowly hot dog reaches cult status on the first day of March Madness playoffs, also known as National Corn Dog Day. The other white meat gets its due on National Crown Roast of Pork Day. A month earlier, men were asked to put down the TV remote during dinner, so they came up Steak and BJ day, an antidote to their Valentine’s Day.
But perhaps the true spirit of the season is best reflected by an absorbent, jaundiced fellow in short pants. ”Every day is a holiday for SpongeBob even if he has to make one up,” proclaims the narrator in the SpongeBob Square Pants episode “Bubble Buddy.”
Now it’s your turn. Make-Up-Your-Own-Holiday Day takes place on March 26. What’s your “Festivus for the rest of us”? Create your special day for anything you wish and write about it in a work of poetry, fiction or nonfiction. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, you get bonus points if you can do it in a limerick.
A friend once asked Carrie Conner why she writes. “Because I have to,” she said. “You mean like publish or perish?” he asked. “No,” she said, “It’s more like … breathing.” Carrie has spent 20 years as a staff and features journalist and freelance copywriter for a variety of publications and companies. One day, while interviewing an emerging novelist about her new book release, she realized she was done writing about other people’s accomplishments. She’s currently putting together a yet-untitled collection of short stories and a screenplay.