Default Holidays Suck: A Case for Making Up Your Own Holidays

Not having a holiday can make a month pretty bleak.

Take January. With the exception of MLK Day (many workers don’t have the day off) and New Year’s Day (which might as well be a December holiday), we have nothing. It’s just cold as hell and full of work.

Or even look at February. Again, cold as hell – and if you don’t have a honey, Valentine’s Day only makes things worse. And who, may I ask, gives a damn about President’s Day?


You could continue to go down the list, and while there are some good ones (Christmas, naturally), we also have the great dud of Columbus Day.

We can do better.

We live in a world full of amazing happenings and amazing people and amazing acts of virtue that echo down from the past. You could throw a dart at any day on a wall calendar and land on a day in which something truly great happened – regardless of whether the feds recognize it or not.

We also live in a world that has made customization and individualization more accessible than ever. We can make our own anything. So maybe we just need to make our own holidays.

Want to celebrate freedom? Celebrate the liberation of Europe (VE Day, May 8th) or the end of the Berlin Wall (November 9th) 

Care about technological progress and innovation? Celebrate Bitcoin’s birthday (January 3rd) and the date of the moon landing (July 20th).

Love Texas? Celebrate Texas Independence Day (March 2nd – and psst, this is a real holiday) and remember the Alamo on March 6th.

Love art? Celebrate the birthdays of the greats, from Michelangelo (March 6th) to Van Gogh (March 30th).

There is great power to special days, especially if we spend them right. And we’re far more likely to take meaningful action to make sacred the days that mean something to us. So find the days that matter for the things that matter to you – I’m sure your boss won’t mind if you take your paid time off then.

There is great power to shared holidays, and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of fellow travelers who would much rather celebrate these meaningful days (meaningful for them) than celebrate old, unrelatable holidays – or holidays made for the banks and the government long ago.

Photo by Alasdair Elmes on Unsplash

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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