This year, Presidents Day fell on the same day that Donald Trump marked his first full month in office. If you think that's some kind of cruel joke, then fear not: There's a way you can celebrate Presidents Day without necessarily supporting Trump and all of his controversial policies. All you have to do is adjust your perspective.
Monday's holiday is often referred to as "President's Day." This year, that would understandably make you think it's all about the one and only current president, Trump. But Trump's big day was last month, when he was inaugurated on the steps of the Capitol on Jan. 20.
You don't have to celebrate President's Day because you can celebrate Presidents' Day. Or even Presidents Day. Officially, the federal government recognizes Washington's Birthday, but sources differ on the proper spelling of the POTUS-infused holiday. Merriam-Webster prefers the plural possessive (Presidents'), while the AP's style removes the apostrophe altogether (Presidents). If you're just shopping the sales or enjoying a Monday off, then the spelling probably doesn't matter to you, but hear this grammar nerd out: Presidents Day is, and should be, about more than just the one man who happens to currently reside in the White House.
Presidents Day was originally established to honor the very first president, George Washington. Over the years, the date was moved slightly, and it now falls on the third Monday of February each year. As the date was moved, the meaning of the holiday also shifted, making Presidents Day more inclusive of all past presidents. As a result, Presidents Day is a celebration of the range of values and ideologies that have governed the U.S., from Washington's distaste for political parties to Barack Obama's grassroots spirit.
There's also something to be said — and celebrated — for the tradition of the American presidency. Over the course of more than 200 years, power has peacefully been passed between 45 different men. The fact that it has been passed only among men — the majority of them white — shows the need for more diversity in the White House, but the peaceful succession of power from one ideology to the next is undoubtedly part of what makes the U.S. special.
This Presidents Day, you may join a "Not My Presidents Day" rally or spread the "Obama Day" message. Maybe you'll encounter a revolutionary reenactment. Regardless of what your day entails, rest assured that your Monday is not meant for celebrating Trump. Rather, it's meant to celebrate all the voices and ideologies that have already made America great.