Mon 27 Dec 2010
I feel bad saying this, but America does holidays better than Australia.
When I was growing up, it always seemed like one holiday or another was rapidly approaching. You had New Year’s Day in January, Valentine’s Day in February, St. Patrick’s Day in March, and so on and so forth. Australians observe all of those holidays, in basically the same ways that Americans do, though. If anything, New Year’s is a bigger party Down Under because the weather is better for it.
Both countries have various patriotic holidays that aren’t replicated abroad, but the main difference between Australia Day and the Fourth of July is that Australians go watch some guys play cricket, while Americans blow things up in their backyard. Listen, I love Australia, but it’s pretty clear that only one of these holidays won’t bore you to tears.
But when America really excels at holidays is at the end of the calendar year. It’s the trifecta: Halloween; Thanksgiving; Christmas … three amazing celebrations, all about equally one month apart. As if that weren’t enough, the whole season is topped off by ringing in the New Year! BRING IT ON!!
Aussies don’t really celebrate Halloween, and there’s no reason for them to celebrate Thanksgiving, although Americas often seem confused by this. In America Thanksgiving is the holiday we probably take the most seriously, since it involves the least amount of stuffing your face with candy and lighting things on fire until they blow up. It probably involves the most amount of pie, but as any true American will tell you, pie is SERIOUS business.
Despite the fact that Thanksgiving commemorates the first time European settlers got to stuff their faces with pie after arriving in America, while the first European settlers in Australia only celebrated being in prison, it is hard for Americans to conceive of anywhere in the world that would not be improved by celebrating Thanksgiving.
There is a reason that Americans feel this way, and it is called imperialism. It is number two in the list of things Americans love, between pie and The Super Bowl. (Number four is NACHOS.)
But seriously, Thanksgiving is great, and it gives some balance to the holiday season. Thanksgiving is the day when Americans get together and eat so much that all they can do is sit around and talk about how much they ate, and vow to never do it again … until next year. I think everyone needs a day like that once a year. A total scarf-out day.
Australians have a day like that.
It is called Christmas.