What makes a holiday? I wonder why St. Patrick’s Day warrants aisles of green decorations, dying of rivers and its own section of greeting cards. Who decides what is merchandised and what isn’t?

I think about International Women’s Day that garners a few targeted advertisements and a host of social media posts, but for the most part, is unnoticed. Groundhog Day is designated on most calendars, yet Inauguration Day isn’t. Halloween merits its own stores but Patriot Day has low recognition. The Post Office doesn’t deliver on President’s Day but hasn’t found a way to get an extra day off for Easter.

There seems like many holidays are being driven by commercialization rather than meaning. Why does the United States put more emphasis on St. Patrick than Lewis and Clark, Rosa Parks or Paul Revere?

As you eat your green donuts, enjoy your cabbage or drink your green beer today, take a moment to recognize how easy it is to turn something into a holiday. Use that energy to commemorate another day that is worth celebrating on its merits, not just on its merchandising.

Image by sam99929 from Pixabay




I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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