“We’ve got it!”
Miranda Graham hurried into her boss’s office, waving a stack of papers and grinning from ear to ear.
“This is going to be the one. I know it, I just know it.”
“That’s what we thought about Sweetheart Day. And Grandmother’s Day. And Kiss-a-Friend Day.”
Miranda winced. “Kiss-a-Friend Day was a mistake,” she allowed.
“Not your mistake.” Lillie Chandler leaned forward. “So. Tell me. What do you have?”
“So, we went a little further back than we normally do, and what we found was fascinating. It’s a holiday of taking. Well sort of.” She gestured at a chair in question.
“Sit, sit.” Lillie liked to pretend she didn’t stand on formality. None of her employees ever made the mistake of believing that more than once. “Taking?”
“So the idea is, on the last full moon before the solstice – that’s going to be December Third, this year – you go to someone who is better off than you are, and you ask for something. It has to be something you need, and it has to be something they can afford to give up, or, so it says,” she flapped the papers, “the magic doesn’t work. So if you were homeless and went to, like, Angelina Mccarthy,” she named their city’s biggest industrialist, and said ‘I need a place to stay,’ she could give you a guest room or that little cottage she rents out to visiting professors or something. But here’s the thing. Whatever you get is a gift of the gods and must be treated such.”
“You may have found it. But how do we get people do to it?” Lillie steepled her fingers. “We may have to sell it as a giving day – ask the people who have less than you what you need, and give it to them. Yes, yes, I think that can work. Draw up a proposal and run it by a test group or three. And meanwhile-”
“Here are the numbers from the Summoning Room. We tested it in a few different circumstances and the readings, while not off the chart, were better than anything since Secretary’s Day.”
“Ah, Secretaries’ Day.” Lillie sighed. “They were so close. So, the last full moon before the solstice. The lightest of the darkest times, the darkest of the lightest nights? Okay. And you think that will awaken our mysterious deity.”
“If it doesn’t, I’ll eat my hat.” Miranda tapped her hatless head solemnly. “We’re got it. This is the one that will wake the god.”
To @tomasino‘s prompt:
Hallmark hasn’t been creating all these new holidays for nothing. They’ve been systematically trying to uncover hidden deities. After years of work, they’ve just found their mark.