May 2 - Brothers and Sisters Day

Posted on May 2, 2019

In the U.S., there's Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May, Brother's Day on May 24, Father's Day on the third Sunday of June, and Sister's Day on August 4. Siblings Day is on April 10. So...


Why oh why do we ALSO need Brothers and Sisters Day?

(Of course, the list above doesn't include all the overlapping variations in worldwide holidays celebrating family. Mother's Day celebrations are held SOMEWHERE in February, March, April, May, June, July, August, October, November, and December, and possibly in January when using the Hebrew calendar! I'm not sure why poor September is left out!)

The thing about holidays is that various different people come up with similar ideas for celebrations but decide on different days in the year. And then some holidays really catch on and spread, and some don't. But we end up with some duplications and overlaps. 

Some people might shrug and decide that it's all just a big scam by greeting card companies - but I think it would be hard to find printed paper greeting cards for lesser-celebrated holidays like Brothers and Sisters Day and Siblings Day, since not enough cards would sell to warrant the design and printing costs. 

(On the other hand, e-cards are an entirely different matter - and often free!)

Anyway, I don't think the duplication-and-overlap-holidays problem is a get-rich scheme from Hallmark. (Certainly the commercialization of the super popular holidays enriches Hallmark and a lot of other companies! But that's a whole other conversation.)

Enough about holidays. 
What about brothers and sisters?

Brothers and sisters can be an important aspect to growing up. Many people do not have siblings, of course, and others have very different experiences, depending on a bunch of different factors:

Age gap - Is your sibling a twin, or 10 years older, or somewhere between?

Sex - Is your sibling the same sex as you?

Birth order - Are you the oldest? Youngest? Middle child?

Number of people in the family - Do you have one sibling, or 10, or something in between?

Plus a bajillion more questions - Does your sibling share one or both of your parents? Is he or she adopted? Are there two parents in the home? Do both parents work outside of the home? Is there enough room in the house, enough money in the bank, enough food in the fridge?

Here are some stats to think about:

23% of American families have one child

47% of families in the E.U. have one child

Here is something to consider when contemplating the trend toward smaller and smaller families:

If almost everyone has only one child, and this goes on for several generations, then not only do most people not have brothers and sisters, they also don't have aunts and uncles and cousins. I know people who have teeny families like this, and I once talked to a young women who said that her entire community was like this.

China famously had a policy of only one child
per family for decades, but in 2013 the government
relaxed the family-size rules.

(First Thursday of May)

Plan ahead:

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