by Amanda Sodhi
April 2007

Holiday.  The word never fails to bring about excitement.  Sometimes I wonder if I spend each holiday waiting for the next one to come around, giving me an excuse to relax, spend time with loved ones, and remember what it really means to live.  But even more than all of that, holidays serve as an excuse for me to eat like a lion and go on a shopping spree.  Being of Indian origin, but living in America, has served as a blessing, giving me plenty of opportunities, oh sorry— holidays—to let my inner food-loving-and-compulsive-shopper spirit soar freely.

I’m the sort of person Hallmark loves doing business with.  And if you’re thinking I take this holiday business a bit too seriously, all you have to do is take a look at the even bigger, die-hard fans of festivals who created and you’ll find a list containing holidays such as “National Banana Bread Day.”

The year begins with New Year, which although is a time for new resolutions, is also perfect timing for a new wardrobe.

Next comes Valentines’ Day, a day for both lovers of other people and people like myself who are even bigger devotees of chocolate.

Then comes President’s Day—a day off dedicated to just shopping in honor of the presidents that helped create a free market economy which fosters an environment of retail stores offering great bargains.

Next, my favorite—April Fool’s Day—a day I can fool myself that spending a couple of hundred bucks more isn’t going to put me into much further debt.

Then comes Easter, a time when a non-Christian, Indian girl like me brings out the carnivore hiding within herself by devouring colorful rabbits and eggs—made out of chocolate of course.

Ah!  And then comes Holi—the Indian festival of colors in which I get to go wild while dumping buckets of water on any dry person, smearing colorful powder on everyone, and throwing water balloons on people’s heads from my cousins’ balcony in India.

Mothers’ Day & Fathers’ Day—this is the time all us sweet little children get to tell our parents how much we love and adore them and think they are perfect by giving them an even more perfect gift marketing and advertising companies talk us into buying.

The 4th of July is a day to celebrate the freedom we have to eat as many hotdogs and chips we can gush down our esophagus with coca- cola without throwing up, allowing the deafening fireworks to tune out discordant burps.

My summer birthday in July is nothing short of a holiday either…. It’s the perfect time for loved ones to honor my existence with a lavish party and piles of gifts!

The Indian Independence Day in August is another chance to be patriotic.  Every year I wipe away my tears that fall from missing India with a newly bought designer Indian silk scarf.

We Indians just love holidays and festivals and telling everyone how much we love them.  Although Americans simply tend to celebrate mothers’ day and fathers’ day, Indians will go a step ahead and celebrate Brothers’ and Sisters’ day—Rakhi & Bhai Dujh—the perfect time to tell siblings how sweet you think they are by giving them a box of even sweeter chocolates.

I just love it when Halloween arrives in October.  Freshly baked pumpkin pie with whipped cream is simply irresistible.  I also love buying every brand of candy available for trick-or-treaters…. The fact that I end up eating it all before the first trick-or-treater even knocks at my door is a different story.

The Indian festival of lights, Diwali is the equivalent of Christmas and allows me to feast on the finest Indian cuisine with family and exchange gifts.

I simply love giving thanks to God on Thanksgiving for saving me from filing bankruptcy.

I get to repeat Diwali the American way with Christmas, by setting up a nice green tree in the center of my living room, leaving plenty of room beneath the decorations for Santa Claus to leave me gifts.

And then, serving as a brief pause, comes New Year’s Eve, foreshadowing another round of festivities to come.

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