There have always been two holidays that I've never really given much thought to: Memorial Day and Labor Day. For me they are two three-day weekends that bookend the summer. I only look forward to them in a sense that they provide me a long weekend and a shortened work week on the other side.
The weekend while I was taking care of some of the small projects I tend to save up for these long weekends (repairing the cord for the Malibu lights that the chipmunks had chewed through and painting the exterior of our front door which had a number of pieces of rotten wood replaced on it) I realized that I kinda look forward to Labor Day, but not for the reasons you might think.
Admittedly, the reason for Labor Day is less than compelling for me. How do you celebrate "the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country"? Grilling hot dogs? Maybe. And sure it's nice to have a three-day weekend to get things done around the house or hang out with the family. But this weekend I think I discovered why I really look forward to the first Monday in September. Labor Day has traditionally signaled the unofficial end to summer.
I've always been an autumn/winter type of guy. I prefer days when it's clear, sunny, and about 40 degrees. With Labor Day here, I know those types of days are just around the corner. Cooler days and cold nights. And with the fall comes football - college and pro. As Heather will tell you, I love the football season. Whether it's sit down for a Notre Dame game on Saturday or tracking all my fantasy players in the NFL on Sunday, football is the sport for me.
Autumn and winter also brings the holidays and occasions that I really enjoy. My birthday is at the beginning of November, followed quickly by Thanksgiving and the Christmas season. Things wrap up nicely at the end of the year with Heather's birthday. Heck, I'm even starting to enjoy Halloween a little more now that I get to celebrate it with my kids. And there is so much to enjoy with the holidays in November and December: big meals, football, Thanksgiving day parades, kringle, lots of time with the family, decorating for Christmas, Christmas music, Christmas movies, getting to help Santa take care of Ian, Emma, and Zoe, buying things for Heather. . . It's all good.
So I guess while a lot of people see Labor Day as winding down or closing of a season, I see it as the gateway to the time of the year that I love the best. Autumn and winter, I can't wait for them to arrive in earnest.