Labor Day is a holiday where I don’t have any traditions – old or new. My husband doesn’t either. It is a day without plans, without parties, without food to look forward to (or to have to slave over in the kitchen haha).
For me it has always been one of those ‘just there’ holidays. There aren’t many of them (Columbus Day may be the only other one), but the only thing they ever meant was a day off: from school, from work, from receiving any mail. Growing up the only ‘tradition’ was going to my aunt’s house. But this isn’t something I am looking to duplicate or tweak in any way.
My aunt always threw a big wild bash at her house. It was never that much fun for me. My mother would complain beforehand about how she didn’t want to go because it was just an excuse for my relatives to get drunk and act like idiots. During the party she would socialize and judge everyone, and then after she would rant about all of the idiotic things that took place and how everyone offended her directly or indirectly by their lack of class.
Then the parties themselves had a buffet of food that was decent enough (nachos, various junk food, etc.) but there was nothing nonalcoholic to drink and because their small house and yard was cramped with a few dozen people, there was nowhere to sit, no napkins and at times utensil shortages. When I was a kid I would hang out with my cousin, but once high school hit she would have snobby poser friends over, and I wasn’t her. If someone said something rude to me, I would dish it right back rather than plastering a look of worship and admiration on my face. As for the adults, while I figured they were adults and no one got hurt (usually), so I didn’t care what they did or how they acted… but they really did get completely wasted while their kids were in the basement, and acted like idiots.
These are my only memories of Labor Day and they’re not something I need to remember, recreate or tweak for my own purposes. And my husband doesn’t have any memories of things his family usually did on Labor Day. I’m not sure if this is because my husband has a lousy memory (he says this about himself so he would be the first to agree) or if his family just didn’t have any Labor Day get-togethers such as barbecues, picnics or boating excursions that were more or less the norm. This is entirely possible, since his family is much less structured than mine (I think that is the nice way to say there isn’t a planner in the whole bunch).
But honestly, having a holiday just be a holiday – day off, a break – is kind of nice. No plans, no preparations – we can stay in, go out, but it is just another day, except that my husband doesn’t have to go into work, and we don’t get any mail. I don’t mind if I do. 🙂 Happy Labor Day!