Holidays, An Essay

Holidays are one of those things that everyone loves to hate, or maybe hates to love. In that spirit I thought I'd offer some writing by someone far better at it than me, Christopher Durang. Here is his take on holidays, from Act 2 of "The Marriage of Bette and Boo."

"Holidays were invented in 1820 by Sir Ethelbert Holiday, a sadistic Englishman. It was Sir Ethelbert's hope that by setting aside specific days on which to celebrate things-- the birth of Christ, the death of Christ, Beowulf's defeat of Grendel-- that the population at large would fall into a collective deep depression. Holidays would regulate joy so that anyone who didn't feel joyful on these days would feel bad. Single people would feel bad that they were single. Married people would feel bad that they were married. Everyone would feel disappointment that their lives had fallen so far short of their expectations.

A small percentage of people, sensing the sadism in Sir Ethelbert's plan, did indeed pretend to be joyful at these appointed times; everyone else felt intimidated by this small group's excessive delight, and so never owned up to being miserable. And so, as time went on, the habit of celebrating holidays became more and more ingrained into society.

Eventually humorists wrote mildly amusing essays poking fun at the impossibility of enjoying holidays but no one actually spoke up and attempted to abolish them."

Enjoy your holidays everyone!!

1 Response to "Holidays, An Essay"

  • Tatiana Says:

    Thanks for posting this. It's always been a favorite of mine - and now I don't have to re-type it in the email I'm about to send to my siblings. And a Merry Christmas to you! ;)