That’s a sarcastic phase that was used to remind us of our misery when we were in the Corps, especially on Holidays. Away from home, exhausted, lonely, eating C-rats, long duties, “what’re you complaining about, you’re in the Marine Corps, where every day’s a holiday and every meal’s a feast!”
But now, for me,
the phrase takes on power, as an affirmation of our chosen way to perceive our circumstances. I am reasonably vital and healthy, I am in a loving relationship, we have enough to eat, shelter from the storm, sanity, and presence of mind. Compared to my Corps days, yes, all these days are holidays and meals feasts.
On my mind is a homeless woman with two small children, who was panhandling at the Smithsonian Metro Station in Washington, DC years ago. One of my colleagues was passionate about starting a recycling program to “save the planet.” I rebelled. Said I didn’t care squat about saving the planet, or the whales, till this lady was saved some from her misery, I said a bunch of other things too, but this was the noblest.
Some of my colleagues went out to check what I said, and got the lady some help. It was the Christmas season, but not holidays for her, and her feasts were less than nutritious. And I realized that our positive, loving, and noble actions, were driven by the season, and felt bad.
In a week the season would be over, then what about “Every day…” after that? I have no answers, just emptiness.
P.S. “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” See below.
- ‘Homeless’ Man Shocks Kind Stranger With Amazing Holiday Gift (thestir.cafemom.com)