It’s Australia Day! Australia Day is a holiday along the same lines as our very own Independence Day. It falls on January 26 (26 January, if you’re Australian) each year, on the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convince ships from Great Britain and the raising of the Union Jack in 1788. According to the official Australia Day website, the holiday brings Australians together to celebrate what’s great about the country. It encourages patriotism, and asks everyone to re-commit to making Australia an "even better place for the future."
In honor of Australia Day, let’s celebrate some things Australia has given to the U.S.!
Whether it’s kangaroos, koala bears, or dingoes, there is probably some Australian animal that you’ve heard of and/or think is dope. To me, Australian animals are incredibly interesting, mostly because the country seems to be home to either the most adorable animals ever (wallabies, platypi, wombats, kookaburra, emu) or the most terrifying (Tasmanian devils, saltwater crocodiles, blue ring octopi, the box jellyfish, giant spiders, and dingos, which famously eat babies). Cracked has a pretty good overview of just how many things in Australia will kill you.
After Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, we emerge with a fresh list of resolutions, a new lease on life — and frigid cold, snow, and no holidays in sight. Sigh. According to a study released earlier this week, this time of the year is actually scientifically dubbed the most depressing. (The most depressing day, also known as “Blue Monday,” is Jan. 21.)
How has someone not created some holidays to get us through the winter season? Although there's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Washington’s birthday, and Valentine’s Day, most don’t get the days off, which means the next official national holiday isn't until May — by that point, it’s warm and the days are longer and summer’s around the corner.
If I had it my way, there would be at least one national holiday per month, with a mandatory day off. One glorious three-day weekend per month? Yes, please.
Here are some holidays I’d like to celebrate in the dreary months between New Year’s Eve and Memorial Day:
Breakfast Appreciation Day
Breakfast has been getting the short end of the stick since the dawn of time (probably). A cup of coffee, a stick of gum or a stale doughnut is not breakfast. But you know what is? Pancakes! Waffles! Eggs, French toast, bacon, toast, sausage, orange juice, tea, yogurt, fruit… My point is breakfast is under-appreciated. I would love nothing more than to celebrate Breakfast Day in mid-January. It’d be a national holiday where we all stay home and eat breakfast foods for each meal. Traditional garb would be pajamas (obviously) and each meal would be punctuated by cat naps and sleepy stretches. This works two-fold because most of us should probably be staying home anyway, since we’re all germ receptacles this time of the year.
So we talked about the Best Gifts Ever.
But what about the truly awful ones?
Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has a tradition where he has parents prank their children, video tape it, post it on YouTube, and then the best selections are shown on TV across America.
It’s not as evil as it sounds, I swear. Or maybe it is. Whatever the case, these kids were arguably given the worst presents ever — everything from potatoes to a tube of toothpaste — and they had no qualms about saying so.
To be fair, I think I’d probably be a little irked if my mom and dad let me open a gift early, only to find out that it was a packet of taco seasoning. (Check out part one here, though be warned that the ending has some language that's NSFW.)
Have you had some really awful gifts? Or a gift you thought was awful at the time, but would love to get today? Or maybe something so bad you couldn't even stand the thought of re-gifting?
Each holiday season, plenty of parents are armed with cameras, ready to capture the look on their kids’ faces as they open that one gift – their Best Gift Ever.
When I was young, one of my favorite presents was a super-amazing stereo, something that is all but obsolete now. No matter, it was the best, it was silver and teal, it was shiny, and it was mine, all mine. I didn’t have to play music out in the living room anymore and get yelled at for “that racket” — I was free! With iPods, laptops, and a jillion other contraptions, stereos seem completely barbaric now. But I can’t tell you how fun it was to DJ in my room, blast awesomely bad pop music and dance around pretending I was a superstar. Not that I did that.
Here are some other people’s Best! Gifts! Ever!
OMG a foot cleaner
Do you spend your days yearning for items advertised on late-night infomercials? What about a foot cleaner? This little girl yearns for a combination of both, and made it so known that she got the present for Christmas. Odd as it may seem, she's so psyched about it, she can barely talk. Her feet will be the cleanest in the entire school.
You know how everyone talks about how awful it is to be alone around the holidays?
Apparently that fear extends to celebrities, businesses, and even satirical political commentators, as they’ve all decided to join one union or another just in time to have someone (or thing?) to kiss under the mistletoe.
Taylor Swift and Harry Styles
The union of Taylor Swift and One Direction’s Harry Styles caused an explosion within the tween (and, let’s be honest, teen and adult) blogospheres as the couple was spotted – get this – holding hands. The newly-confirmed relationship provided answers to "who will be the subject of Taylor’s next song?" and "WHAT IS GOING ON WITH ONE DIRECTION RIGHT AT THIS VERY MOMENT?" (caps lock necessary). It broke the hearts of many who wanted to date the superstars themselves, and even caused a few to balk at the age difference between Swift, who will be 23 next week, and Styles, who turned 18 in February. (Fun fact: Styles was born in 1994. Seriously.) Tonight, the two will team up for the Z100 Jingle Ball with Justin Bieber at Madison Square Garden – and there are miraculously still tickets left. All we can say to this is: OMG.