In general, and whoever speaks generally these days, I'm not a holiday lover. There seems to be a holiday every day of the week. Too many holidays that I can't keep up with, quite frankly, I have little incentive to keep up.
When I was young, I enjoyed the holidays, but now I have become a husband, a serious father, every holiday is charged to my account, so that I cannot get out of it. I hold my wallet very tight, but obviously not tight enough. Someone invented holidays just to sell greeting cards and earn a lot of money. So, I'm not a big holiday promoter.
I remember fondly as a young boy waking up Christmas morning excited about what Santa brought me under the Christmas tree. I didn't know that my father was taking care of all the cost. How did you know that Christmas had a price? No one ever told me when I was young, Christmas gifts cost anything.
When I had my own family, I discovered that Christmas is not free, at least for parents, especially the father of the tribe. Of course, it was worth seeing the laughter and bright eyes of the children when they opened Christmas gifts.
Outside of Christmas, I have no holidays I feel excited, except for one day. I am from Pennsylvania, and if you are not from that state, you will not understand this holiday. I know people are celebrating Groundhog Day, but this is not my holiday. The most celebrated holiday is Fastnacht Day, a Dutch holiday in Pennsylvania that is celebrated on Tuesday before Wednesday.
No, it is not a religious holiday. Don't know much about the roots of Fastnacht Day. But Fastnacht means cakes. So, in fact, is National Donut Day. What holiday might be better than spending a full day eating cakes?
On one occasion, the gracious lady of Parsonage challenged me about eating cakes all day, especially virgin apple pies. I had to show her that because I am from Pennsylvania, I have a solemn obligation to celebrate that holiday. Although I no longer live in Pennsylvania, I am still responsible for eating cakes all day at Fastnacht Day.
I have a small confession to make though. It was June and I celebrated Fastnacht Day with apple pies all day. My wife caught and said, "What are you doing?"
I said very rudely, "Well, it's a Fastnacht Day and I celebrate it by eating these apple pies." She gave me one of those staring at my soul. I don't get those stars very often, but when I do that, they are more worrying.
"What do you mean," my wife asked, "Today is Fastnacht Day?" So, I started to describe me for this holiday, and as a person born in Pennsylvania, I have an official responsibility to honor this leave every year. This is my heritage.
"Yes," she said loudly, "but why are you eating apple pies today?"
There was a little silence and I didn't know how to answer them.
"If I am not mistaken, I celebrated Faststadt in March. Why do you celebrate it in June?"
I knew I was trapped and didn't know how to think myself. All I can do is say, "Oh, I forgot that this was June. I have to get old and my memory doesn't work well."
Looked at me and did not smile, she said, "It's not your memory, I'm worried." Then he turned around and walked away. I've been worried ever since. I didn't know what she meant by what she was worrying about. It could be a thousand things and quite frankly, I don't have the nerve to ask her about what worries me most.
As I said, every holiday comes with a cost factor. Not all cost has to do with money.
I wanted to tell her that although Fastnacht Day comes in March, I would like to celebrate it three or four times during the year. Now, what's wrong with that? Why should you celebrate a holiday for just one day? Why can't it be year round?
I think I know how she would respond. "Well, why don't you celebrate my birthday every month?" Believe me, I will not walk on this turbid waters any time soon.
Over the years, I learned that everyone has their own way to celebrate a holiday. Personally, I think people are very legal when it comes to holidays. My idea is, instead of celebrating the holidays, why not celebrate every day of the year. Every day has something special in it calls for celebration. The celebration remembers the right things.
David understood this when he wrote, "Do not remember the sins of my youth, and do not transgress my sins: according to your mercy, remember me for good, O Lord" (Psalm 25: 7).
There are things in my life that I don't want to celebrate or remember. It is God's grace that enables him to remember the good in my life and not my sins.