We all have our preferred holidays, of course, but some are under-appreciated when compared against the traditional favorites like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. A case in point is Memorial Day which, when looked at objectively, not only compares to any of the five star holidays, but is actually superior to them all.
I'm aware that Memorial Day is a U.S. holiday and might not translate for everyone, but I tried to pick qualities that aren't really specific to America.
Below are ten reasons why Memorial Day is the best holiday of them all.
- Memorial Day always falls on a Monday. This guarantees a long weekend. Plus, Monday holidays are easier to plan around and less disruptive than a mid-week holiday where you get a day off and then have to drag yourself back to work for a day or two before the weekend.
- Memorial Day traditionally kicks off summer movie season and the release of highly-anticipated movies. Some of the notable and top grossing Memorial Day weekend movies releases include Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007), The Hangover Part II (2011), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), Sex and the City 2 (2010), and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).
- Good weather. Falling as it does near the end of May, the weather on Memorial Day
is usually sunny and pleasant without being oppressively hot, like on the Fourth of July.
- Memorial Day is a "marker" or gateway holiday, signifying the arrival of summer. There are other such holidays, including Labor Day, which portends the winding down of summer and imminent arrival of fall, but Memorial Day remains the best, because of what you have to look forward to: three or four months of sunshine, short-sleeves, and flip flops.
- Extended family get-togethers are optional on Memorial Day! Family parties can be great but they're often required on other holidays. Not so on Memorial Day weekend! When you head out, you go because you want to and enjoy food and family.
- You can eat what you want. Good food can make a holiday all the more memorable, but it can also restrict if you're bound by custom or family tradition to serve the same fare year after year. Fortunately, Memorial Day is wide open. Grill, bake, or go out. It's your day to eat the way you want, and you can go ahead and do something totally different next year.
- Manageable expectations. People have modest or even low expectations for Memorial Day. Unlike Christmas, New Year's Day, or even the Fourth of July, when the pressure is higher and you need to buy gifts, entertain, or watch fireworks, Memorial Day doesn't demand as much and in fact can be an entire day of pure relaxation.
- Few Distractions. While there might be an NBA playoff or a baseball game on during Memorial Day, generally the holiday has few distractions and even sports fans can disengage for awhile and enjoy the weekend.
- Commercial-free! You don't have to buy gifts on Memorial Day and there are no Memorial Day cards to send! It's the ultimate non-commercial holiday. Even people who work in advertising take the day off.
- Because some gave all. I've had some fun with this, but let's not forget that the reason we have a day off the last Monday of every May. Memorial Day commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in military service. For this reason above all the others, I elevate Memorial Day as the holiday I appreciate most. Many men and women died to build this country which allow me to write posts like this, and I respect and do not take lightly their sacrifice.