We Never Got a "Kids Day", But It Is Siblings Day
Hey, kids, it's April 10th (yes, just barely. I know. I meant to post this much earlier. The dog ate my homework, etc.) That means it's Siblings Day! In the United States, that is, although I suppose there's nothing to stop non-Americans from appreciating their brothers and sisters today (okay, tonight. Geesh. I don't remember buying a ticket for a guilt trip.)
Naturally, what with freaking grown-ups running the world (into the ground), Siblings Day isn't quite as familiar as Mother's Day and Father's Day, so it's understandable if a lot of people haven't heard of the holiday or have questions about it.
The official Siblings Day FAQ, written by the non-profit Siblings Day Foundation, can hopefully answer all your questions about the holiday. However, it doesn't answer my question about whether any other countries have holidays similar to Siblings Day. Perhaps that's a Rarely Asked Question or it's frequently asked, but they always respond, "Ask a librarian."
The questions that did make it into the FAQ are pretty basic, starting with an explanation of the holiday — it's "a day to honor our brothers and sisters... an uplifting celebration to commemorate and honor individuals who were involved in our development and who have shaped our values and beliefs. This includes brothers and sisters who have passed on, as well as those who are still among us."
Now let's pause for a moment so some of us can think of a pleasant memory of a brother or sister who has passed away. Perhaps others can use the time to recoile in horror at the thought of our brother(s) and/or sister(s) shaping some of our beliefs.
As flawed as they are... as stubbornly, adorably unlike us in various ways, our brothers and sisters are usually also pretty cool and should be our natural allies, if only because they're the only people who truly understand our parents. I'm thankful that, growing up, I had someone to exchange assorted glances and witticisms with; I might not be as disdainful of authority or hilarious had I been an only child.
Although I do kind of like the idea of Siblings Day, I don't like the idea of giving Hallmark authority over it. The Siblings Day Foundation suggests celebrating in ways "similar to the practices customary on Mother's and Father's Days." Perhaps buy "a card or gift". Get your brother or sister some flowers, call them, or make a "social invitation".
My brother's an ocean away right now, and not too into cards or gifts anyway (plus, I recently saw What Would Jesus Buy?, and the pleas to "Stop Shopping!" are still ringing in my ears.) I'm sending him an e-card. There's a form to send an e-card at the official site, but it's sincere and straightforward; I'm going to look for something a little bit sarcastic and silly. I appreciate their at Hallmark.
Le Sport - Your Brother Is My Only Hope (on the "Tell No One About Tonight" maxi-single)
Le Sport, formerly known as Eurosport, is currently known as a band that broke up last year. Their memory lives on through their sunny synth-pop. A half-dozen Le Sport songs are available for free at the website for their record label, Songs I Wish I Had Written. There are also songs by The LK, Regina, Unarmed Armies, and Moto Boy, whose debut eponymous album reminds me of a beach-ier Gene. Oskar Humlebo, who is recording as Moto Boy, has a beautiful voice, reminiscent of Gene's Martin Rossiter. Both the free downloads are excellent; do check them out.
The Juliana Hatfield Three - My Sister (on Become What You Are)
"My Sister" is somewhat acerbic, and therefore, er—arguably—not 100% in the spirit of Siblings Day. Okay, if you're an only child, don't read this next part. Just skedaddle along.
Hatfield was probably just totally bitter because, as Melissa Ferrick pointed out in "The Juliana Hatfield Song", she "don't even have a sister". Was she "not amused" by the song because it hit too close to home, hmmm? Either way, the song's pretty great.
Only kids, I know you're still reading, because you never had siblings to keep you in check, so you don't follow directions. You rebels. So, this "Siblings Day" business is a total rip-off. It's nice and everything, don't get me wrong. It's just that we always asked for a "Kids Day", and it isn't fair to not get one. It especially isn't fair that some kids (or adults, whatever) get a holiday, and some get nothing. We still need a Kids Day, and it needs to be worded so that everyone is a kid for that day. How fun would that be? So get lobbying, guys; you're the ones most ripped off by the lack of a Kids Day.
~ faceless kids art is the "Brother and Sister" Willow Tree Figurine from Hallmark.com.