Archive for Thursday, February 14, 2008

Winter holiday would provide break

February 14, 2008

I had a conversation Monday with a normally happy-go-lucky guy. He woke up feeling down that day, he said, because of the continued dreary weather.

Didn't we all?

Although I must say I was upbeat Monday because the predicted ice and sleet slid to the south and the snow blew to the north, leaving us with just a miserable cold, cloudy day.

In an attempt to cheer the man up, I suggested Christmas should be moved to February. My reasoning is the holiday season has an abundance of holidays - thus the name holiday season. There's Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's. And although there are a number of holidays in January and February, none of them rise to the status of an everything-stops day as do the big three of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.

Spreading the cheer out through the blahs of mid to late winter would do much to help us shed the serotonin-deprivation blues, I said.

You should write an editorial, the now-roused man said. But maybe a column would be better.

It's true that a large number of people will get Monday off for Presidents' Day. But so what? Who makes plans for Presidents' Day or plans a dinner with friends and family? We don't send or receive Presidents' Day cards. Few of us remember how we spent Presidents' Day last year, much less as a child.

For many of us, it's not a day off but just a day without mail (me included, which may explain my bah humbug attitude). To make matters worse, it's become a comprise holiday, splitting the difference between Lincoln and Washington's birthdays.

If Christmas were to be celebrated next week, the anticipation would push the dreary weather from our minds. Perhaps memories of past snowy holidays would make us long for more of the same, just as we do in December.

Think of the advantages other than the seasonal pick-me-up. We actually would have something new to talk to relatives about we hadn't seen since Thanksgiving. The sweaters we buy for gifts could be found in the end-of-season racks. Children wouldn't have to look wistfully at Christmas bicycles for more than two months.

The IRS never would have scheduled the filing deadline on April 15 because no one would have money to pay their taxes so soon after Christmas.

But no such thing is going to happen, and for that you really have to fault the lack of foresight of the early church leaders for picking Dec. 25 for Christmas for no other reason than the hopes of usurping its winter solstice pagan Q factor.

Or perhaps, it's a shame our founding fathers' rebellious spirit wasn't stirred four to five months earlier. A mid-winter Independence Day celebration also could spark things up. Perhaps there wouldn't be as many fireworks - for which my dog and I would be thankful.


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