It’s nice having a three day weekend. The kids are home, my husband is home, the yard beckons (as does the grill). And, yes, revisions, too! That’s my plan: housework and revisions.
Not the traditional concept of Labor Day, I suppose, but to be honest, I’ve never known what the traditional point of Labor Day was. Did you? Well, if you did, yay for you. If not, I did the work so you don’t have to. The work being that I hauled my little cyber fingers over to Wikipedia, where I learned the following:
In 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the CLU (Central Labor Union) of New York. Others argue that it was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May 1882, after witnessing the annual labor festival held in Toronto, Canada.
Either way, thanks Matthew or Peter for the idea. And whichever one of these dudes originated the idea, it became a National Holiday in 1894, apparently in order to smooth things over at the tail end of the Pullman Strike. In other words, create a holiday, avoid violent outbursts. Hmmm.
So what is one supposed to actually do on Labor Day? Wikipedia shares that, too:
The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday: A street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations”, followed by a festival for the workers and their families.
While we do some parades in our relatively small town, today will not be a parade day, nor even a get out of the house day, in the Kenner household. We’ll be celebrating with cleaning, writing, gardening, and lounging about lazily. And grilling burgers and hot dogs!
Of course, wiki also mentions shopping, which has probably become the biggest component of Labor Day (as well as the paradox that a Black Friday style shopping tradition on “Labor Day” creates):
To take advantage of large numbers of potential customers free to shop, Labor Day has become an important sale weekend for many retailers in the United States. Some retailers claim it is one of the largest sale dates of the year, second only to the Christmas season’s Black Friday.
Paradoxically, because of the importance of the sale weekend, some of those who are employed in the retail sector not only work on Labor Day, but work longer hours. More Americans work in the retail industry than any other, with retail employment making up 24% of all jobs in the United States.
So for those of you Whiners in the U.S., what are your plans? Home? Shopping? Or are you laboring today…?