President Wilson declared Mother’s Day a national holiday in 1914. Celebrated on the 2nd Sunday in May, Mother’s Day has blossomed into a $23 billion/yr. industry.
President Nixon declared Father’s Day a national holiday in 1972 to be celebrated on the 3rd Sunday in June. Annual spending for Father’s Day is a comparatively paltry $12.7 billion.
No president has ever declared a Children’s Day as a national holiday. Internationally, there have been a few non-starters. In 1954 the UN General Assembly passed a resolution declaring a Universal Children’s Day to be observed every November 20th.
McDonald’s later co-opted the idea but not the name and declared November 20th World Children’s Day. UNICEF and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences declared the 2nd Sunday in December to be International Children’s Day. Japan celebrates Children’s Day as a national holiday on May 5th.
We in the United States acknowledge the futility of recognizing Children’s Day on only one day of the year. We know that, realistically, every day of the year is a Children’s Day.
Which brings us to Family Day. Mom and Dad each get a named holiday, children get every day as a special day, and families get… nothing. You have to go to Saskatchewan to get anything close to a dedicated Family Day, and they don’t even bother to shutter government offices for the day.
Without so much as a Hallmark card to mark the occasion, is it any wonder that families are so disconnected? How can we be expected to value each other without a marketing campaign reminding us at least two months in advance?
So it is up to us. We have to take the initiative and declare our own Family Day.
Just don’t tell Hallmark.
Virginia Hammerle is president of Hammerle Finley Law Firm. She is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and an Accredited Estate Planner. For more information, visit hammerle.com, and for newsletter sign-up, email [email protected]. This column does not constitute legal advice.