Happy Leap Year Day

So what are you going to do with the extra day that you have been given this year?

I believe that February 29, which we only get once every four years, should be a holiday. And I’m not just talking about Little Orphan Annie’s birthday (which was how her creator explained how she was still a kid after decades in the funny papers). It should be a day on which we contemplate time as God’s gift, a truly extra, gratuitous day. It would be like a national snow day, in which people don’t have to go to work. (After all, if you have an annual salary, you are not being paid for today. Think about it.) But it shouldn’t be a time of going out for some big vacation, either (and the government should NOT tamper with the calendar by trying to move February 29 to Monday). Just stay at home and do nothing in particular.

Any other ideas for what we could do with this holiday? What we should call it or how we should celebrate it?

There is an old custom of women getting to propose to men during Leap Year. Women could do that or take other initiatives. I could see making it a holiday in honor of women, though we wouldn’t want the feminists to take it over. But how else should February 29, a day that only comes around once every four years, be celebrated?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.smallhomebusinessblog.com Stacey Derbinshire

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Stacey Derbinshire

  • http://www.smallhomebusinessblog.com Stacey Derbinshire

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Stacey Derbinshire

  • Carl Vehse

    Any other ideas for what we could do with this holiday?

    How about, on February 29, elected officials abstaining from campaigning, or fundraising, or shmoozing with lobbyists, or rolling each other’s pork barrels, or increasing taxes under some euphemism, and actually doing what they were elected to do – serve the American people?

    Is one day every four years asking too much?

  • Carl Vehse

    Any other ideas for what we could do with this holiday?

    How about, on February 29, elected officials abstaining from campaigning, or fundraising, or shmoozing with lobbyists, or rolling each other’s pork barrels, or increasing taxes under some euphemism, and actually doing what they were elected to do – serve the American people?

    Is one day every four years asking too much?

  • arfies

    It would be nice to make this day a holiday, but I doubt that it would do us any good. We have mostly stopped celebrating holidays; they have simply become days for work, shopping, or selling, like every other day.

    What will I do today? Well, I have a funeral tomorrow, and that pretty well dictates my activity today (Friday is supposed to be my day off).

  • arfies

    It would be nice to make this day a holiday, but I doubt that it would do us any good. We have mostly stopped celebrating holidays; they have simply become days for work, shopping, or selling, like every other day.

    What will I do today? Well, I have a funeral tomorrow, and that pretty well dictates my activity today (Friday is supposed to be my day off).

  • mommy

    The mayor of Annapolis (Ellen O. Moyer) posted this message on the city web site earlier this week: “”2008 is a Leap Year. We have been given the gift of an extra day … let’s not waste it! I propose making February 29, 2008 a Time Out Day. Why don’t we all let the rats run their race without us on that day? Use this gift of time to relax, read, take a walk in our beautiful City and State, read a book, call old friends or simply reflect on all of the good things that are happening in your life.”

    A columnist for the Baltimore Sun took it to mean she was giving all city workers the day off and announced it in the paper on Sunday. Turns out the columnist had to print a major retraction and let folks know that Moyer really meant that they still need to come to work today and should do these things on their own time. :-)

  • mommy

    The mayor of Annapolis (Ellen O. Moyer) posted this message on the city web site earlier this week: “”2008 is a Leap Year. We have been given the gift of an extra day … let’s not waste it! I propose making February 29, 2008 a Time Out Day. Why don’t we all let the rats run their race without us on that day? Use this gift of time to relax, read, take a walk in our beautiful City and State, read a book, call old friends or simply reflect on all of the good things that are happening in your life.”

    A columnist for the Baltimore Sun took it to mean she was giving all city workers the day off and announced it in the paper on Sunday. Turns out the columnist had to print a major retraction and let folks know that Moyer really meant that they still need to come to work today and should do these things on their own time. :-)

  • http://www.spudart.org spudart

    Brilliant! Make it a holiday with no work. It’s an extra day, we should get it off. And then what to do?… Leap around. Run around. Jump over things. Jump over puddles, over sidewalk cracks, over curbs. Get out and exercise… and to promote getting out and walking. Make it a no car day. No cars allowed on Leap Day. Only walking. Outside.

  • http://www.spudart.org spudart

    Brilliant! Make it a holiday with no work. It’s an extra day, we should get it off. And then what to do?… Leap around. Run around. Jump over things. Jump over puddles, over sidewalk cracks, over curbs. Get out and exercise… and to promote getting out and walking. Make it a no car day. No cars allowed on Leap Day. Only walking. Outside.

  • Kyralessa

    I like the idea of making it a literal Leap Day. Today, don’t walk around that puddle on the sidewalk: Leap over it! :)

  • Kyralessa

    I like the idea of making it a literal Leap Day. Today, don’t walk around that puddle on the sidewalk: Leap over it! :)

  • http://thebookbeast.blogspot.com Darren

    Well, according to my calendar from Touchstone, it’s already the feast day of St. John Cassian. Maybe we could all go visit a monastery and engage in some serious prayer.

  • http://thebookbeast.blogspot.com Darren

    Well, according to my calendar from Touchstone, it’s already the feast day of St. John Cassian. Maybe we could all go visit a monastery and engage in some serious prayer.

  • Don

    I can’t claim originality for this since I got the idea from a comic strip but how about making leap day a day with no month or number and stuff it between a Saturday and Sunday in the spring (which would be the fall below the equator) so everyone can enjoy the day? Maybe the first weekend in May?

  • Don

    I can’t claim originality for this since I got the idea from a comic strip but how about making leap day a day with no month or number and stuff it between a Saturday and Sunday in the spring (which would be the fall below the equator) so everyone can enjoy the day? Maybe the first weekend in May?


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