If we didn’t have statutory public holidays, would we have negotiated holidays according to our own preferences and resource constraints? Would that be a pareto improvement over the current arrangements? Wouldn’t there be co-ordination failures — what if you negotiated a holiday in July but your partner couldn’t get away from work then? Perhaps statutory holidays are welfare improving government interventions then? But why should secular states impose a holiday regime that is a result of a Christian past? Wait, isn’t Christmas really a pagan festival? So this is a reflection of western imperialism then?
Okay, these questions are making my brain hurt. I need a holiday. Whether you need one or not, the government says you have to take one, so you might as well enjoy it. As for all those questions, here is what Omar Khayyam says.
How long, how long, in infinite Pursuit
Of This and That endeavour and dispute?
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit.