The word holidays is derived from holy days. The festive Saint days are supposed to be free of work and to be dedicated to a certain Saint in particular (spirituality), to celebrating family life, to engaging into the community or sports and leisure.
Today holidays are pretty much adrift. We preferably dedicate the holy days to escape the (urban) jungle. In order to run around in challenging places where we presumably get to know the whereabouts or ourselves better, gathering as much information and experiences as is possible to digest, given a restricted amount of time and money. Alternatively we sit around drink alcohol, eat for pleasure, have sex and attend extatic parties or attend parties in extatic states of mind.
If the 19th Century has seen the Victorian age of Romanticism, the 21st Century welcomes the era of Escapism. While digitally binding together distant social and geographical environments and having war-zones seem closer to us then the bakery around the corner, our personal whiteboards being attacked daily by real or Nintendo made missiles. We can’t fight back, so we fly. The only other option our neurological sytem designed for us. We fly into many spirit enhancing stuff. Consider the succes of AA societies: Alcohol Anonymous, Cocaïne Anonymous, Interdependancy Anonymous, Obesitas Anonymous, Sex Anonymous. But in non-exagerated, judged-‘normal’-by-society standards we preferably fly away in aeroplanes. Or take the exit in other forms of mobile transportation. We spent a big amount of money, time and energy into our escapes. We actually earn money to make our need to escape ’from it all’ possible.
What happened to the holy days when we no longer believed in Saints? They’ve simply lost their holiness, became trodden path and now serve all sorts of non spiritual purposes. Spending holidays has become as demanding as what our enterprises, employers, employees or simply our society standards expect from us. Is that true? Or is it within ourselves to expect so bloody much, even from our holy days. Maybe the time has come to finally dedicate some of our money, time and energy into something without expecting anything in return. Priceless peace and sacred holy days will be the reward. Isn’t that what we all are looking for.