Why do we celebrate Labor Day?

This weekend is commonly known as Labor Day Weekend, culminating in the celebration of Labor Day on Monday. It’s what the celebration is all about. Or is it?

What once was a celebration of the efforts and contributions of working men and women in America, has become synonymous with the end of summer, the start of another school year, the onset of football season, barbecues, a three-day weekend and sales, sales, sales.

That’s quite an evolution from its original purpose. Interesting when you think about how much time we spend at work throughout the year. One study shows that the average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. It also points out that 80 percent of people are dissatisfied with their jobs. When you consider that as of July 2017, there were more than 160 million people in the civilian labor force in the US, that’s a lot of unhappy people! So, what’s to celebrate?

According to the Department of Labor, “Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Amen. No matter how you choose to celebrate Labor Day 2017, let’s take a minute to remember the real reason we commemorate the day.

By the way, ever wonder where the whole “can’t wear white after Labor Day” thing started? It was a silly rule started with the vacationing elite; the ones who left the city for a summer at the cottage on the ocean or a cabin in the mountains. They could afford lighter fabric, white articles of clothing associated with summer months. But at the end of summer – signified by Labor Day – it was time to return to reality and the summer wardrobes were exchanged for “real life” clothes. If you wore white after Labor Day, it was thought you were still vacationing. Thankfully, that rule has gone by the wayside. Who thinks this stuff up anyway?

Wishing you a safe and happy Labor Day.

Posted by MJ Thomas

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