CHRISTMAS WEEK—AND ART OF TAKING IT EASY
One of the oddest things about this Great Country—the United States of America—is its attitude towards rest. Whereas the rest of the developed world mandates several weeks of paid vacation—as many as five weeks in some cases—the U.S. figure is ZERO. And it is not particularly generous with holidays either. May I say, with all due respect, that such a situation is insane.
Perhaps its worst crime in the vacation/holiday area is that Americans go back to work the day after Christmas—known as Boxing Day or St. Stephens Day where I come from. Boxing Day refers to the long established tradition of giving Christmas Boxes (small gifts, normally of money these days) to the people who look after you like the postman, garbage man etc.
I regard this Scrooge-like behavior towards vacations and holidays as uncivilized to the point of being barbaric—and thoroughly unproductive. If people don’t rest, they don’t work particularly well—and their health suffers. That is not just an opinion. There is plenty of research to support that view. All work and no play doesn’t just make you dull. It undermines your quality of life and kills you prematurely.
Interesting that Canadians live two years longer than Americans.