Monday, February 13, 2012


It's the eve of one of my least favorite "holidays."
Valentines Day.
The day people without a partner can't escape having it shoved in their face.

I could tell some awful stories, but I won't.

Instead, I'll mention my favorite holiday.
It's not really one holiday; it's four associated holidays.
One of them comes up very soon.

Cheap Chocolate Day.
Feb 15th, The day after Easter, Nov 1st, and December 26th.

Our family celebrates a different list of holidays than, well, anyone else I know.

In addition to Cheap Chocolate Day, we celebrate the first day of every month.
We celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving, instead of American Thanksgiving.
We celebrate Grassroots in the summer.

There are stories behind each of these that I might write about some day, but not today.

The thing about holidays, in my opinion, is that they are highly personal.
There are some religions that don't celebrate holidays at all, and some spiritual traditions that celebrate every day.

I often really surprise people by our "holiday policy" for the classes I teach. We decided years ago that only celebrating some religions' special days, and not others, is not fair. That leaves us with two options. One is to take off ALL holidays, without discrimination. However, if we did that, there wouldn't be any days when we could work. So we choose the only other way to treat all religions and holidays equally: we don't take ANY of them off.

This means we hold classes on Thanksgiving, on Christmas, on New Year's Eve and Day, on Easter, on any day that happens to be a day of the week when we regularly hold classes.

My Jewish students love that I have classes on Christmas, since they often have little to do that day.
The non-religious people seem to like having classes on Easter.
None of them seem to want to work out on Thanksgiving.

The funny part is the reactions of the parents.
I can't even begin to count the number of times parents have called to check and re-check, whether we are REALLY holding class on Christmas Day. They don't believe their kids. They have to check.

When we explain our policy, everyone seems to agree that it makes sense... and yet, they still want THEIR holidays "respected." I respect them. By not treating any of them differently. I also understand that sometimes, people have family interests or obligations that means they are not available for other activities that day, and if that's the case, go with your priorities. I have to trust people to be able to make the decision that is right for them.

Mostly, I end up with the more "standard" holidays off, anyway, because people choose not to attend. But not always. We've had some fabulous small, personal classes on days when most people needed or preferred to be elsewhere.

Personally, since I love what I do, it is what I prefer to do on my "days off" or on "holidays" anyway. There is no better way to celebrate than to do what you truly love.

I'm leaning closer and closer to that "celebrate everyday" attitude.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for reminding me about Cheap Chocolate Day! I will remind my daughter in NYC (whose boyfriend broke up with her a week or so ago). This will help!