Holiday Origins – Founding Documents to Explain Why We Celebrate

One summer I got invited to a 4th of July brunch. Among the logistical details, the invitation read: “Breakfast & a patriotic thought by David.”

“I’ve been waiting all year for this invite,” said one friend.

“Independence Day is always best celebrated with our Canadian-American friends!” said another.

David is Canadian.

Despite holding citizenship north of the border, David loves America.

His patriotic thought was, primarily, a recitation of the Declaration of Independence.

As David pointed out, if you omit the list of grievances against King George III, the document is rather short. Short enough that two people reading out loud and alternating paragraphs is a welcome break during a summer brunch party and not so long to lose anyone’s attention.

I loved it.

I loved that David took us back to the genesis of the 4th of July.

I loved connecting our pancakes, lawn chairs and stamped red-white-and-blue napkins with the American Forefathers, despotism and bold action.

David’s example inspired this assembly of founding documents to read each year with friends and family.

  1. New Year’s Eve
  2. Epiphany
  3. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  4. Valentine’s Day
  5. President’s Day
  6. St. Patrick’s Day
  7. Palm Sunday
  8. Easter
  9. Memorial Day
  10. Juneteenth
  11. July 4th
  12. Labor Day
  13. Rosh Hashanah
  14. Yom Kippur
  15. Columbus/Indigenous People’s Day
  16. Halloween + Dia de los Muertos
  17. Veterans Day (Armistice Day)
  18. Thanksgiving
  19. Advent
  20. Christmas