Gimme a break

March Break holds special charms for Chris Hunt. Here’s why it ranks over Christmas and New Year’s

Chris Hunt (with son Riley) enjoys ice cream on a warm day. He’s looking forward to the spring and more of these moments. Photo credit Angela Jacques

When I was a boy, I didn’t appreciate March Break for what it really was. Being your typical self-absorbed adolescent, I was grateful for the time off school, but that’s really all it was to me, a tiny break to mark the halfway point between Christmas and summer vacation. Nothing more, nothing less.

Now, as a self-absorbed adult, I have come to recognize March Break for what it really is: a chance to breathe.

There are many holidays throughout the year, each offering the warm promise of gentle rest and relaxation. For example, Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve may conjure up thoughts of spending quiet time reconnecting with your family away from the merciless grind of everyday life.

However, we seldom avail ourselves of these golden opportunities because many holidays may carry emotional burdens. Christmas sees the rush of holiday shopping while drowning in stress as we strive to buy the perfect gift for those who matter the most to us.

Like, for a random example I’m sure every parent has experienced, searching EVERY SINGLE chain toy store within driving distance for a specific Nerf gun that is listed as being available on their website but for the love of everything kind and good can’t be found ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET let alone in a store whose specific job is to sell toys to people wanting to buy toys for ungrateful selfish toy-hungry brats who have to have THIS specific toy and not the one that is on sale TODAY ONLY because that toy is BLUE and not GREEN, and it ABSOLUTELY has to be GREEN! Why? Why does it have to be GREEN?  The sole purpose of this toy is to sneakily shoot me in the pupil with it while I’m vacuuming. When I’m blind, I’m not going to care what colour any of your crap is, SO WHY CAN’T YOU JUST BE HAPPY WITH THE TOY I WANT TO BUY YOU THAT HAPPENS TO BE CHEAPER TODAY ONLY AND EASY FOR ME TO GET AND DOESN’T RESULT IN ME NEEDING A WALKING CANE AFTER SPRING CLEANING?

For many of us, Thanksgiving is a scheduling nightmare as we try to squeeze in celebrating it with as many people in as many households as possible in a ridiculously short time. I liken it to a frosh week pub crawl, but with turkey instead of alcohol, but with the exact same amount of unhinged regret when it’s over.

And New Year’s Eve? I can’t handle the pressure of staying awake until midnight.  I’m at that age where I’ve fallen asleep during sex and society expects me to stay awake until midnight so I can kiss people on the cheek and tell them “Happy New Year?”
Those people, like my poor spouse on any given night, are apt to wind up pretty disappointed. March Break though, is something else entirely.  There are no social obligations, no need to get drunk on rampant commercialism or extravagant dinners and an early bedtime is not frowned upon, (except perhaps by my spouse.)
Long story short, I can actually use that time to spend with my family, doing whatever we want.  Even if whatever we want is not doing anything at all.