Monday, March 12, 2001

Jammy Day

A holiday we can all cotton to

        Thom Jackson sees the world in bunny slippers and pj's. At least for one day a year.

        This vision does not belong to some high-pressure sleep-suit salesman.

        Thom's a lawyer, a bit of a prankster and a dreamer.

        He dreams of creating an international holiday called Wide World Jammy Day.

        “You stay at home in your jammies the whole day,” he told me with a smile on his face.

        “It's a celebration of friendship, family and fun.”

        He's already picked a date and time.

        “Wide World Jammy Day starts at sundown on the fourth Saturday in March and runs to sundown Sunday. That way you can go to bed looking forward to having more fun the next day.”

        This year his holiday starts at sundown March 24.

        Thom has specific plans for what revelers have to do to celebrate his holiday.

        “You don't have to do a thing.”

        He does have plenty of suggested activities. They come from past experience. Three years ago, he created Jammy Day with his kids when son Jake was 5 and daughter Allanah was 3. They put on their pj's for a day after finding their lives overbooked with things to do and places to go but not enough time for each other.

        “De-stress on Jammy Day,” Thom said. “Don't play sports, see a play, take a music lesson or visit friends. Stay home. Bake cookies. Look at photo albums. Play games. Relate to each other one-on-one. Laugh a lot.”

        He recommends unplugging phones, ignoring pagers and letting doorbells ring. If a computer chirps “you've got mail,” don't open it. There are better things to do. It's Jammy Day.

        “It's all guilt-free,” Thom added, “and very liberating.”

        Thinking ahead, Jammy Day's founder has trademarked the holiday's name. In addition to the obligatory Web site (, the holiday has its very own logo and could put its brand name on a line of pajamas if this thing goes worldwide.

        While thinking globally, Thom's taking action locally.

        He persuaded Mayor Charlie Luken to proclaim March 24-25 Wide World Jammy Day in Cincinnati.

        On March 25, Thom, Allanah and Jake will break with holiday tradition. They'll leave their Wyoming home and go to a Jammy Day event in the Museum Center at Union Terminal.

        At 1:30 p.m., they'll raise the holiday's profile in the terminal's rotunda by participating in Thom's brainchild, the Million Slipper March.

        No doubt, Thom Jackson is on to something. Jammy Day has at least as much merit as some of the holidays on the back of the pocket calendar I get every year from Hallmark.

        Jammy Day sounds as legit as Friendship Day (Aug. 5) and National Boss Day (Oct. 16.)

        Everyone could use a stress-free holiday, a day free from phones, e-mail and the worries of work, homework and chores.

        A recent Pennsylvania State University study found one of three Americans always feels rushed. An HMO-sponsored survey discovered nearly one in five workers fail to use all of their vacation time. The reason: too much to do at the office.

        There's a clear need for a Jammy Day.

        To me the holiday poses just one problem: what to wear. The flannel Snoopy jammies with the feet. Or without.
       Columnist Cliff Radel can be reached at 768-8379; fax 768-8340.


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