In 1966, Maulana Kereuga, a member of the Black Panther Party (the one that Forest Gump messed with), invented a holiday to celebrate African culture in the United States, but not Africa. “Kwanzaa” became the alternate secular Christmas for some black Americans, but not all bought into it. The citizens of Africa think Kwanzaa is a made-up hot-mess of a holiday and had never heard of it until the late 60s. They celebrate Christmas, like most of the world. I’m betting Forest and Jenny didn’t know about Kwanzaa.
“Festivus.” A Sienfield made-up holiday to bring attention to the over-commercialism of Christmas. Held on December 23rd, it celebrates no giving of gifts, feats of strength, airing of grievances, and questionable miracles, as well as a fine meal of meatloaf and mashed potatoes. In place of a traditional tree, there is an aluminum pole carried by the family elder. Frank and George Castanza convinced Jerry, Elaine, and Kramer that Festivus is a viable and authentic holiday. It makes more sense than Kwanzaa, and at times, Christmas.
So if anyone can make up a holiday, get it printed on a calendar and plastered on television, why can’t I? Well, just hide and watch.
I propose a new holiday that celebrates the elders of our families, the old and almost forgotten, except when birthdays and Christmas roll around and their children expect them to dish out wads of cash on useless gifts for their grand kids.
I’m talking about the senior parents and grandparents. They have toiled in the corporate salt mines, served in the military, died in wars, slaved in the factories and retail stores, walked those miles of isles in Walmart, changed those thousands of bedpans, paved the roadways, built the buildings and houses, and worked the land that provides the food that all our children and grandchildren enjoy. If it wasn’t for Grandma working in that computer chip factory for thirty years, little Johnny and Chelsea wouldn’t have that expensive video game or smart-ass phone that cost a cool grand.
As of today, December 28th, 2021, I proclaim the period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve the holiday of “Respectivus.”
Six humbling days of showing respect and gratefulness to parents and grandparents for all they have made possible for their loving family. Shower them with expensive gifts and fine wines. Send them on all-inclusive cruises to warm climates, and maybe pay off the mortgage that they borrowed against to pay for their children’s college education.
Sure, there will be a few million or more that will send their parents a gift card from Walgreens or maybe a jelly of the month membership or a new sleeve of tennis balls for their walker. Those would be the cheapskate brats that threw a conniption fit when they didn’t get a trophy and a pizza after they lost every game, and now their kids do the same when they don’t get the latest techno-gadget under the.. good God, it’s hard to even write it… “Holiday Tree.”
Implementing this hew holiday won’t be easy. It will take a banding together of old folks to make it happen. Marching in the streets carrying signs, some saying hooray for our side, protesting at the post office and in front of city hall, burning our driver’s license at the polling prescient, riding our personal mobility scooters like a biker gang on the freeway’s, and chaining ourselves to the columns of the White House. The old guy in there should get it; he’s older than we are. Us’un old ones have to stick together like we did in the 60s. So put Steppenwolf on the 8 track, and let’s roll.
I am excited about the tennis balls I might be receiving.