Outtakes: More January holidays needed?
Part one of two
January is the longest month of the year. What's that? You say I had too many different refreshments New Year's Eve and argue there are 31 days in January; the same as the other six months down the line.
And just like those other six, January has seven days to each week, 24 hours to each day, 60 minutes to each hour and 60 seconds to each minute. And you'd be right.
So then why do I risk being thought of as having a few apples shy of a peck? Or being called on the carpet for saying it's the longest month of the year? Because that is the way it always seems to be, year after year after year.
We start the month off with a holiday that, to me, makes very little sense. It gives us the most insignificant reason to celebrate. I've said it before and I'll say it again. In actuality, we celebrate the eve of the New Year, not New Year's Day. Well, that is, others do.
We don't celebrate the first of each month. We certainly don't celebrate the first of each week. Why celebrate the first of the year?
The eve of the New Year is really a part of the December holiday season, rather than one standing on its own. And being tied in with the Yule, the only way it could ever stand on its own is if the powers-that-be were to move Christmas to some other day such as March 25.
Let's face it. We start our Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving and continue right up until the 24th of December. And then from Christmas to New Year's Eve, we party and exchange gifts. Throughout the entire last month of the year we decorate, party, pick out a tree, party, string up lights, party, participate in caroling, party, decorate the tree, party, wrap gifts, party and then party some more on the eve of the New Year. Of course that doesn't include all the special cooking, baking, drink making and merry making in between all that partying.
I used to think January needed a few more holidays to get us from its frigid snows and freezing temperatures to March's warm spring arrival. But with this COVID-19 running rampant and leaving so many beloved ones in its wake, I was wrong. The last thing we need is another holiday during these cold months, when flu and colds are at a peak, as an excuse for more close gatherings of groups – only to see the death toll rise again in two to three weeks.
If it weren't for the vice-presidential and presidential inaugurations, speeches and parade every four years on Jan. 20, we'd all be sitting in our recliners, feet propped up, listening to the constant scraping of snow plows going by and twiddling our thumbs awaiting February's Groundhog Day.
With the exception and due respect of a man I have long admired, the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his special day, which is a federal holiday, and rightfully so, is the third Monday of each January. But unless you're employed by the federal government, or a company that complies with federal holiday regulations, there's no work-free day to celebrate with the family?
Without MLK Jr. Day, this long, cold, snow-covered month could join August as the only two baron holiday months of each year.
If you doubt my word, then count them. I'll have them listed here in next week's column. You can make note of all the holidays we'll celebrate during 2021. The list will include Federal, religious and others that are observed. So grab a pen, note pad, or better, yet, a calendar and jot them down so you'll have them handy as the year progresses.
Goodness knows, with such a lousy year as 2020 was, we're finally due for some good, joyous, celebrations.
Next week: Part two
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