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Steve Eaton: A holiday dedicated to giving me a break

Published: Friday, Dec. 28 2012 6:44 p.m. MST

The holidays are over and now we face dark, gray, cold January. Is there anything left to look forward to?

Sure, there’s Martin Luther King Day, but not everyone gets that day off. And to mark that day properly, you need to do noble, unselfish things to honor Dr. King.

I think we need a holiday of real comfort and joy, and we could set it for the week of Jan. 21–25. On this holiday no one should have to work and if they do, Walmart employees should protest on their behalf. There would be no giving traditions unless people wanted to honor the founder of the day. It would be a day of no obligations, no expectations and a day ripe with the tradition of doing nothing.

You may think we’d all fall too far behind in our jobs if we took yet another week off in January. But I think you forget that most companies create their own work. If everyone goes home, there would be no emails to answer, no reports to create and no quotas to fill. It could be the season of “vanishing deadlines and disappearing mandates.”

Why do we need this holiday? I know there is no one out there who will admit this, but Christmas can be a stressful and difficult time. There is stuff to do and then there is more stuff to do, and it is supposed to be done with twinkling lights and home-baked goodies — all delivered anonymously. There is serious joy and cheer to be spread around, even if you are grumpy. Face it, it is a holiday that cost lots of money and time, both things that soon are in very short supply in December. We need a new holiday that has no soundtrack and everything can be quiet and peaceful.

We could all sleep. We could meditate. We could pray for something other than football outcomes. On this holiday it would become politically incorrect to make lists, run errands or talk about cliffs. No need to spend all day gathering family about or making big meals. We could all just eat pizza …

OK, everyone gets the day off except the people who make pizza. They would have to work. And the people who run the movie theaters. I guess all the people who work in restaurants should still be on duty, too, so we can do nothing until it is time to go out to eat. And grocery stores need to be open, in case we need to buy ice cream and nachos. And the people who put on football games and tell us why they matter so much with cool graphics and loud, heavy sounds, they would have to work too. (The people who make the entertaining commercials could have them all prepared in advance, however.)

This is all getting complicated. Maybe it should be a holiday dedicated to letting just me take a break. I could represent the world by relaxing and when I die, they could search the world over for another worthy old, fat guy to honor.

Now that I think of it, I’ve tried to get this holiday of peace and rest off the ground before just in my own family. It didn’t work too well. I’ll snap my fingers and say, “Make me a sandwich!” like I’m a Roman emperor. The results are very unpleasant, even though all the proper ingredients for a sandwich are dumped upon me.

“Ta da, you are a sandwich,” says my wife, who thinks she is so clever.

The Super Bowl isn’t until Feb. 3. What if just Utah took the week off? What if everyone in Utah, just up and left the state? The government could send us all to the vacation destination of our choice where other people could make the pizza and nachos for us. Sure, that would cost like a trillion dollars, but we could ask Congress for the money. Did you know they can just order people to print the cash? Very few people realize that.

We could tell the Democrats that we need it for medical marijuana and Big Bird, and we could lie to the Republicans saying that we need it to give back to their rich, grumpy donors. It would be complicated, but we could make it happen if we worked together to set it up.

My only request would be that no one else go to Maui, Hawaii. I’d like to be able to fall asleep on a beautiful deserted beach without people pouring buckets of water on me and trying to roll me back into the ocean.

Now, that’s something I could look forward to.

Steve Eaton lives and works in Logan, Utah. He can be reached at Eatonnews@gmail.com

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