I remember the holidays when I was a kid. We never did big, extravagant things, since we were poorer than I realized at the time. However, we had a good time, usually after working at least half a day (Though, sometimes, we worked ALL day and just celebrated that evening). You see, on the farm, there’s ALWAYS something that needs done, 365 days a year, especially if you heat with wood or have livestock. Besides, anyone who’s ever been self-employed knows that any day taken off is income lost. If you’re SPENDING money to celebrate, then the loss is double. So—we worked. The only exceptions were Christmas and any holiday that happened to fall on a Sunday.
Things changed some in the 60’s, when my paternal grandparents and one paternal aunt died. They REALLY changed in the 80’s, when my father passed away. He was, apparently, the glue that held my immediate family together. Things gradually went downhill, with my wife, mother and sister caring less and less for one another’s company. Similar things were happening in my wife’s family after her own father died. In the 90’s, my paternal grandparents and my beloved great-aunt passed away. In 2010, my mother-in-law passed away. By now, all my wife’s many aunts and uncles are gone, and only three of my eleven such relatives (plus my mother) remain, two of those out-of state, so things are very different from the old days.
My wife won’t go to my sister’s or mom’s places, but she will invite them here (since they behave better on her turf), and they’ll come, so a couple times a year, I get to experience some semblance to a holiday, especially if “the kids” (my step-son and his wife) come too. Of course, if any of our five grandkids show up, that’s even better. But, such get-togethers only happen a couple times a year, if then. I realize that everyone goes through at least some of this as they get older, but that doesn’t make me long for the old days any less.
We don’t get paid holidays starting out on my new job, and only one is added per year of service until there are 12 of them. I understand their thinking, since the bosses are self-employed. They probably feel that they’re being generous and, since it’s a small company, they basically are. Unfortunately, that makes it pretty unlikely that I’ll ever get all of them. To tell you the truth, with the exception of Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving, I’d rather work the other holidays, rather than lose the pay. Otherwise, it sort of feels like we’re being punished the week after a holiday for not working it, though we have no choice. I really don’t blame my employers, though, because once you’re self-employed, you never look at holidays quite the same way. Besides, it’s not like we have anyone to get together with, or can afford to do anything interesting.
I hope your holidays are paid, and that you enjoy them immensely. There’s no need for ALL of us to be grumpy or melancholy! © 2014