Tis the holiday season, or at least it t’was. We’re moving into the gloom of the long dark tea time of our soul and the 2019 “holiday season” is now comfortably in the rear-view mirror.
I used the phrase “holiday season” on purpose. No, I’m not at war with Christmas and no, I’m not afraid of offending anyone.
It’s the “New Year.” It’s “New Year’s Day.”
According to the overplayed seasonal song, Christmas is the “most wonderful time of the year.”
If that’s the case, then New Year’s Day is the “most dumbest day of the year.”
The just past New Year’s Day achieved the maximum dumbness, I believe. It fell on a Wednesday.
The middle of the week. Two days of work, one day off, two days of work. That’s most dumbest. I know “most dumbest” is making some reader cringe at the grammar, but it is the most dumbest.
I guess I just don’t understand why we have to shut down our lives for the first day of a new year.
It seems more businesses are closed on Jan. 1 than are closed on Dec.25.
On Thanksgiving, we gather with family and friends and dine. We give thanks for all the wonderful blessings in our lives.
On Christmas, we gather with family and friends and we exchange gifts and dine and take in special religious ceremonies to observe and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Let’s expand our look at “holidays.”
On Easter, we dine and take in special religious ceremonies recognizing the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Somehow we tie that in with a bunny who delivers colorful hard-boiled chicken eggs and candy.
On Memorial Day, we gather with friends and family and we remember and honor the veterans of military service who gave their lives for freedom and liberty. We eat and rest and mark the start of summer.
On July 4, at the height of summer, we gather with friends and family and have a national birthday hootenanny for our country. We dine and play games and after dusk we blow up things.
On Labor Day, we take a three-day weekend and picnic. We eat and play games, although fewer and less intense than on July 4 and we recognize the “end of summer.”
There are lesser holidays -- Presidents Day, MLK Day, Columbus Day, Arbor Day (you do celebrate Arbor Day, right?), Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Halloween, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations...
That’s a lot of fun days when you think about it.
A lot of celebrations. A lot of food. A lot of fun. All kind of spaced out in comfortable intervals.
Then there’s New Year’s Day -- the most dumbest day of the year.
We’ve just come the biggest celebratory day of the year with Christmas. There might even still be leftover turkey in the freezer from Thanksgiving.
We’ve had days off. The kids are getting stir-crazy in the house. Why is the Hallmark Channel still running Christmas movies It started in late October, for Pete’s sake.
Even if it’s not freezing cold and snowing outside, it’s dreary, raining and muddy. There are trees and decorations that need to be put away. There is work that needs to be caught up on.
For the love of all that’s good and right in the world – it’s time to get back at it! It’s time to get up and get moving. It’s time to get back to normal. Sure the Christmas season is wonderful, warm, loving, sharing, blah, blah, but if it doesn’t end at some point it’s no longer special.
No, we have to take one more day. One more day in the dead of winter. One more day of “down time.”
One more day of thinking about all things we should be doing. Things we would like to go do.
But no. Everything is closed. There’s no mail to break up the day. There are 537 college football games on but who really cares about 535 of them?
Sure, you’re supposed to dine on pork to ensure good luck in the coming year but does it really matter? Do we need to get the whole family together again to throw down on more ham, pork loin or kielbasa?
Can’t we just get on with it?
I’m too old and cranky to “go out” on New Year’s Eve. I don’t indulge in the adult beverages much anymore. The music is too loud. The bar or club is too crowded. The midnight hour comes. “Five! Four! Three! Two! One! Yea! Happy New Year! Ummm... OK, good night. Drive safely.”
When I was a young lad, I would go to my cousin Randy’s house. We'd pop a huge bowl of popcorn and settle in for the annual network broadcast of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World.”
One of the funniest movies of all time would begin. Randy would fall asleep in 22 minutes and I’d watch the movie with no one to laugh with.
On New Year’s Eve 1985, I was serving in South Korea with the U.S. Army. It was too cold to go outside. I think we were all asleep by 10 (2200 hours) that night.
When I am anointed King For a Day, I’m going to move New Year’s Day to August 3. It’s warm. You can enjoy the day, the outdoors. You don’t have Christmas hangover. The sky isn’t gray and cold.
For the past several years -- probably 20 or so years to be closer -- I go to office on New Year’s Day. I take some extra-large trash bags and some cleaning supplies and I “redd-out” and clean my corner of the office.
It allows me to feel like I’ve accomplished something -- on the most dumbest day of the year.n
The author is the editor of the Clarion News.