Aspen Untucked: Celebrate Good Times
We all know the traditionally popular holidays like Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, etc., etc. On these days, banks and post offices close and most of us get the day off. The holidays are intertwined into our culture and feel as natural as the weekends do. But, many may not realize that we actually have a holiday or two every single day even when we don’t get work off for them. They come in the form of “national days” and, maybe partially because of social media, they seem to be all the rage right now.
Just about every single object, fad, vice and social movement has its own national day. And most don’t even get a day fully their own. One day can be the official day for numerous different things. For example, on the day this column will be published — May 25 — it’ll be National Brown Bag It Day, National Missing Children’s Day, Red Nose Day, National Tap Dance Day, National Wine Day and Towel Day (whatever that could possibly mean). Yes, towels and wine and missing children can all share the same national day. It’s totally legitimate, apparently. To say we are obsessed with holidays and milestones in this country would be a vast understatement.
It’s not entirely clear how a national holiday becomes a thing. As far as I can tell, the group that’s somewhat in charge of this holiday-naming rampage is NationalDayCalendar.com. If the day is on that website, then it’s deemed at least somewhat credible. Apparently, this website gets more than 10,000 submissions for national holidays per year, but they only actually approve 20 to 25. Still, even though their process is selective, there exists an unorthodox amount of themed days. Because of this ridiculous surplus, it becomes important, possibly even vital, to pick and choose the national days you like best to participate in. For example, April 6 was National Barbara Day. Several people told me via Facebook. It would have been silly, even ignorant, for me not to partake in some fashion. But then there are other days, like National Hydration Day (June 23), that don’t make any sense to me. I’m not going to celebrate hydration one day of the year. Hopefully, if I want to be healthy, I’ll celebrate that everyday of my life.
Obviously, I have mixed feelings when it comes to nationally themed days. I think they’re inherently ridiculous, but I’m also not one to ever forgo a celebration, as pointless as it may be.
So, because of this, I celebrated May 20, perhaps better known as National Whiskey Day, with a particularly indulgent event. In downtown Denver last Saturday was an all-you-can-consume whiskey and doughnuts party. Appropriately named Whiskey + Doughnuts, this event takes place in many major U.S. cities in May. It’s similar to being in the Grand Tasting tent at the Food & Wine Classic. Only, instead of foie gras, they had strawberry- and blueberry-filled doughnut holes and, instead of bottomless samplings of wine, they served endless half shots of local and national whiskeys. Everything from Breckenridge Bourbon to George Dickel’s Tennessee Whiskey. Now, I’m not a huge whiskey drinker myself, and if I’m going for something sweet I tend to choose chocolate instead of frosting-covered pastry puffs, but I was pleasantly surprised by how the liquor and dessert paired well together. Plus, just about every attendee was as giddy as a 7-year-old on Christmas morning. And yes, that included my three friends and me.
We left the event a couple hours after we arrived, feeling as satiated as humanely possible. At least until the the sugar high wore off and we started craving something salty. The event on its own would’ve been pretty special, but the fact that we took on heavy amounts of sugar and bourbon in the 24 hours deemed to be National Whiskey Day made it all the more special. We were like heroes, patriots, really. We weren’t indulging just because we could, we were doing it because that’s what we were supposed to do! At the end of the evening, we all patted ourselves on the backs and fell into a deep slumber, one that can only be curated from massive amounts of sucrose and ethanol surging through the bloodstream.
Every day of the year there will always be something to celebrate. This does not mean you have to participate every single time, but pick a few times a year (or a month, or a week) when you can let loose and indulge in a themed national holiday. You can always find the ideal national holidays to fit your taste.
As for me, I’m counting down the hours until National Hot Dog Day (July 19). That’s going to be wild.
Barbara Platts is warming up to national days. She may even submit some of her own ideas. Maybe National Cook Indian Food Day? National Dance With Your Dog Day? The options are endless. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BarbaraPlatts.
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