Vail Daily columnist Linda Stamper Boyne: Our own special holiday
Vail, CO Colorado
Did you notice a change in the atmosphere this week?
No, I’m not referring to the gorgeous spring weather we’ve been having – the gray days, the rain, the wind, the snow – but more the collective sigh heard across the valley as the ski resorts closed, the crowds left and everyone working in the industry finally able to catch their breath.
Slowly sifting through the giant pile of things I didn’t have time get to over the winter gave me a moment to quietly reflect on the season and realize that, holy crap, it’s the end of April! How did that happen? What happened to the last five months? They flew by in a blur.
This was my third winter working in the lodging industry, and I’ve realizing that winter has become one endless Hotel California; the guests check out but they never leave. Or so it seems, as we exchange one group of guests for the next.
I have a vague recollection of my parents coming for Christmas, as a decorated tree appeared in my home with actual wrapped gifts underneath and meals were prepared and left for me to eat as I came and went at the wee hours of the night. There were even Christmas cookies for Santa.
It got me thinking about how the holidays have ceased to have their traditional meanings to me. How that rather than relaxing and celebrating, I am working to make sure others enjoy their day. So I am making a proclamation.
I proclaim there to be a new holiday. A holiday specifically for anyone who doesn’t get to celebrate all the other holidays in the year. A holiday for the people who work on Christmas and New Year’s and Thanksgiving and Memorial Day and Independence Day and even have to labor on Labor Day. A holiday for those who not only don’t get the day off on these occasions, they are usually busier than the average day. Or in the case of the weeks surrounding Christmas, it is the busiest time of the year.
So, for everyone who works in guest services, lodging, restaurants, transportation, guiding service, retail, mountain operations, ski rentals, and anyone else who spends their winter working their arse off, this holiday is for you.
In a nod to all things Seinfeldian, we shall call it Spring Festivus.
I suggest we take over May Day, because honestly, it’s a little antiquated and could use some rejuvenation. Communist implications aside, it is known in some parts of the world as International Workers’ Day. And it marks the true beginning of spring for those of us in the high country, so what better day could there be?
I envision a park when I think of our holiday. I see the fresh blades of grass coming up out of the ground and the leaves budding on the trees. It will be a celebration of the end of another winter season and the beginning of a fresh new year. We can enjoy the company of friends, share a feast and, as my research indicates was done by our forefathers, spend the day rejoicing and merrymaking.
We can incorporate the traditional aspects of May Day while infusing new Spring Festivus rituals and customs to make it our own. We can replace the Maypole with one of the pine beetle kill trees, wrapping it in colored Saran Wrap to kill the little buggers, in a festive way of course. It would be an excellent way to recycle the dead stands of pine.
Rather than May baskets, flowers and treats left on doorknobs, we can recycle unused complimentary guest gifts, passing on the joy of individual bags of coffee and logoed gift items.
We can elect our own version of the May queen. Dibs! I’m not campaigning for the title, per se, but I did come up with the holiday, after all. What better way to honor the founder? In the true spirit of the original Pagan holiday, we can replace my usual tiara with a circlet of flowers and have my Spring Festivus throne carried through the celebration on the shoulders of strapping young men.
Spring Festivus. It’s going to be glorious.
Linda Stamper Boyne of Edwards can be contacted through email@example.com