The Seven Deadly Holidays

7 HolidaysThis isn’t an entirely serious meditation, nor is it immediately related to spiritual formation, but it’s kinda’ sorta’ connected, and it’s amusing enough that I figured I’d post it anyway.

I was driving back from the auto shop (every battery has it’s time) and passed by an empty shop that had been transformed into a Halloween store last year.  I remembered seeing advertising and products from Halloween last year, and I was appalled at how blatant the sexual tones had become.  It seemed the lust was just freely flowing from the entire holiday, and suddenly I wondered…  Could you correlate all of the traditional seven deadly sins with major holidays?  So I sat down and put together the following:

Lust Halloween
Greed Christmas
Gluttony Thanksgiving
Sloth Labor Day
Envy Valentine’s Day
Pride Independence Day
Wrath Halloween? Independence Day?

Now, some of those are obvious and some of them maybe not so much, so let me run through them to see if I can justify myself.

  • Lust and Halloween: There once was a day when Halloween was more about wrath, and much of it still is, but as you look through catalogs and see the kinds of things that are being marketed around All Hallow’s Eve (if only…), there is more and more a sexual feel to a significant chunk of it.  One store I went by last year even advertised naughty fairy tale characters.  It’s just pretty blatant, so this makes sense to me.
  • Greed and Christmas: Do I need to say more?
  • Gluttony and Thanksgiving: Pass the stuffing.
  • Sloth and Labor Day: You could almost drop this on Memorial Day as well, sadly, but Labor Day seems to be the major holiday in America for laying around and not doing anything.  Honestly, how do we traditionally celebrate?  No presents, no ritual, no feasting (except perhaps the barbecue), no hunts for farm products…  We laze around and try to squeeze the last little bit out of the summer.  Sounds kind of sloth-y.
    I suppose many people use Labor Day as a last ditch vacation trip someplace, which sort of defeats the sloth thing, so there might be something better, I suppose.  Just not sure what it would be.
  • Envy and Valentine’s Day: Now, hear me out.  Yes, Valentine’s Day is about love and contemporary culture can’t help but confuse love with lust, so you could just as easily and maybe even more easily make that connection.  However, I remember hanging out with folks in college, and I still hear it from people now who call the holiday “National Single’s Awareness Day”.  Yes, it’s about going out to dinner with that special someone and dancing the night away and roses and candlelight and so forth, but folks don’t want to be alone that day, and they hate having it pointed out to them that they’re single.  That just sounds like envy to me.
  • Pride and Independence Day: This is more a matter of national pride rather than individual pride, but I can’t come up with anything better for that personal tone.
  • Wrath and ?????: Like I said before, Halloween was originally about wrath, and perhaps it still is, but I already stuck lust there.  Sure, you could stick lust on Valentine’s Day, but then where do you stick envy?  Father’s Day?  And heck, Independence Day is all about blowing stuff up, and that’s pretty wrathful, but I already stuck pride there, and, as already noted, I don’t know what else to do with pride.  I suppose you could go with April Fool’s Day, but that seems kind of weak.  So herein lies my weak point.

So there’s my justification for the seven deadly sins as matched to American holidays.  Just think; now you can go through the months meditating on the life of Christ (the traditional church year) or on traditional vices.  So glad I could be of service to you in this way.  But really, you got any better ways of making this work?  Can anyone help me sort out this wrath thing or shift anything else around?  And what do we do with

New Years • MLK Jr. Day • Groundhog Day • President’s Day • St. Patrick’s Day • Mardi Gras • April Fool’s Day • Easter • Mom’s Day • Memorial Day • Dad’s Day

and any other holidays I missed?  Or do they just not count?


2 responses

  1. Scott Sevier

    Hmm… I like it. I’m wondering if Pride couldn’t be placed under New Year’s, which would free up Independence Day for wrath…? We don’t really have a good overt wrath holiday. I wondered that Easter didn’t get any deadly sins ascribed to it. Its possibly the biggest holiday NOT associated with a major sin (maybe that’s appropriate though since that’s the holiday where we celebrate all those sins getting nailed to a cross and paid in full). Still, if you’re thinking of it as the way that our contemporary consumer culture has corrupted each holiday (except for Halloween, which has always had a checkered past), you could apply gluttony to Easter as well (think of all the new dresses and, in the South at least, hats!? not to mention all the candy, chocolate, and, in my family — again in the South — you always had a big meal for Easter). Mardi Gras isn’t really an official American holiday, but it seems that you could pile on the sins with that one… lust, greed, gluttony, pride… sloth cometh afterwards, and wrath in the form of the cops busting up the party). Also, seems like St. Patty’s day should be getting some action. Back East (and maybe here too) its all about the drinking binge. So gluttony? (I think debauchery would fall under gluttony — intemperance in general). Anyway, that’s my two cents.

    August 18, 2009 at 11:45 am

  2. Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about Mardi Gras and St. Patty’s day satisfying multiple categories. The cops busting in connected was a nice touch. And I, too, was amused that Easter didn’t have anything attached to it. You could, I suppose, attach gluttony, but it doesn’t quite right to me.

    Not sure why pride and New Year’s are connected in your mind. Care to elaborate?

    August 18, 2009 at 12:03 pm

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