The Forgotten Calendar


Amari Anderson, Staff Writer

Holidays bring people together, and are often of great importance to families and groups. With this in mind sometimes they become the focal points of people’s calendars. People will save money in February just to spend it in December, plan massive parties, and cook huge meals to celebrate their holidays. Sometimes it seems that as Americans we have begun to put the idea of a ‘Happy Holiday’ higher in priority than things that affect our daily lives. These holidays are highly anticipated and and commercialized. The days, weeks, or months that holidays occupy are tunnels during which the mind has no room to see that there are other things more pertinent to the surrounding world than presents, meals, and parties. Although it is great that the mainstream holidays invoke passion and hope, it is evident that this sugary coating of happiness is spread thinly across a short list of specific dates.

Most people know about Christmas and Halloween, they celebrate Black History Month and the days of Hanukkah, but what we’ve forgotten between the candy and goodies is that there are things beyond the immediate “Holiday Seasons” that deserve recognition. Many special organizations and groups of people that have impacted society have special days of recognition allocated to their causes.

These dates are often neglected or “forgotten”, gone unacknowledged by society. The fact is that humans are, by nature, selfish creatures that in the end, remain uncultured or inadequately informed about things that affect people other than themselves.

By now I’m sure you’re wondering why this topic is even important to write about, why, if you celebrate the mainstream holidays, should the lack of recognition for these other dates interest you at all. Well, me personally, I am a fan of the underdog and for a while now I have found myself trying to become more well rounded and versed in the things that go on in the world around me. And frankly I am becoming bored with the repetition and lack of variety in our celebratory customs. Specifically, in America high expectations and commercialism have, in my opinion, diminished the meaning of the mainstream holidays.  Although I believe that the celebration of these holidays has become repetitive I do not believe that takes away from what they stand for.

Their socially imposed monotony has nothing to do with their impact and importance, but I do believe that the wrong components of their history have become over-emphasized. With this in mind I do not wish to lessen their importance, I simply believe that it is honestly time to spice things up a little. My hope in writing this article is to expose you as readers to the idea that there is more to celebrate throughout the year than religious holidays and Presidential Birthdays. This article will give a few examples of observances and their importance. So without further ado I bid you all Happy Holidays, and, yes, I do mean all of them.

The first stop on our train of awareness is the month of February. February is known for many things such as Valentine’s Day and Black History Month, but did you know that it is also home to Eating Disorder Awareness Week as well as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month (or TDVAM). That’s a mouthful isn’t it? TDVAM was created in hopes of stopping the abusive cycle of unhealthy relationships between youth and to provide services and support to teens and adolescents who may have fallen victim to an abusive teenage fling. Eating Disorder Awareness Week is not solely centered towards youth like TDVAM, but it also impacts millions of people in the U.S every year. According to NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association), a foundation centered around helping people who suffer from eating disorders, “30 million Americans will struggle with a full-blown eating disorder and millions more will battle food and body image issues that have untold negative impacts on their lives.” Both organizations promote an environment that makes talking about these topics easier. They promote the idea of learning to love yourself which seems perfect considering that it is February, the month of hearts.

As we ‘March’ on into the next month we run into St. Patrick’s Day, the beginning of Spring, and sometimes even Easter. Now I don’t know about you but I rejoice when I see the month of March. To me March marks the death of a chilling and relentless ghoul you may refer to as winter. The snow falls less, the weather fluctuates upward instead of down, and I also get to celebrate Women’s History Month and International African American Women in Jazz and the Arts Month. As a woman I feel like this month is so underrated in society. I mean honestly, I was about to write this whole article about the importance of the month of March and how underappreciated it truly is. This month is for the Celebration of women, not just Black women but women of all colors. It celebrates how far they have come and the mountains they were able to move for future women like me.

So much more goes on throughout the year that goes unacknowledged; there’s Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January, African-American Music Appreciation Month in June, Stress Awareness Month in April, and so many more.

Even though I cannot explain all of them in this article I hope that reading this has allowed for you to realize that there are things worth paying attention to outside of the holidays and awareness days we see broadcasted in our everyday lives. The causes that I listed hardly scrape the surface of things that should be recognized an appreciated more in society. To close I want to urge you as members of society to always remember that there are things that matter besides what affects your immediate world, and to close yourself off to those things is to close yourself off to an entire calendar.

Never forget to remember the forgotten calendar.