Great Holiday Expectations

JulyHoliday: such a fun word—especially if you say it with a British accent.

Think of your favorite Harry Potter character and say, “We’re on holiday!”

Sigh. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

For the British, holiday is defined by dictionary.com as “a period of cessation from work or one of recreation; vacation,” which means any day off is considered a holiday for them.

For Americans, the term holiday means “a day fixed by law or custom on which ordinary business is suspended in commemoration of some event or in honor of some person.” Apparently we need our government to tell us who or what sanctions a holiday so we know when it’s legal to relax and party. We’re lucky this month because as Americans and Utahns we get two holidays!

I love holidays.

It’s a reason to break from the routine and plan a party, picnic or BBQ and wear clothing like an American flag shirt and an Uncle Sam hat. Public display of such an outfit on a regular day might land you as a “People of Walmart” feature, but on a holiday it just means you’re festive.

I try to create festive holiday fun, but sometimes it just doesn’t turn out to be a nostalgic scene from The Sandlot like I envision. Sometimes family members have to work and all your friends have other plans, so you and your teenage son end up sitting on the couch the morning of the Fourth of July saying, “What do you want to do today?” “I don’t know. What do you want to do today?”

He would never say it out loud because my son is an unusually sweet fourteen-year-old, but I knew he didn’t really want to do anything with just his boring old mother. To show that I appreciated him not being honest with me I told him we’d do whatever he wanted. He chose to go to a local parade and fair, which should’ve been the epitome of Fourth festive, right?

Well, the kid decided he was past the stage of chasing after the free parade candy and it only embarrassed him when I did. The fair afterward was brutally hot, and my sidekick quickly realized such events don’t have the same allure without a posse of pals and the latitude to cruise for chicks. We ditched that scene and went for Slurpees, then desperately resorted to bumming the deserted mall just for the A/C benefit.

I was trying to act interested in the cleat section of Foot Locker when my son called it, “Mom, thanks for trying, but this is pretty lame. Can we just go home?”

So we did.

We plopped on the couch and watched international soccer.

Yeah, it was basically a founding fathers face slap.

Coming up next week is “Pioneer Day.” My high holiday hopes haven’t diminished despite the recent impasse. I envision gingham dresses and open fire cooking, but I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed again. (My family is afraid they’ll have to actually put on prairie wear.) I have lots of festive plans, but if you find me that day wandering the mall alone wearing a pioneer bonnet and holding a Slurpee, please come give me a hug.

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