The holidays are (mercifully for some of us) finally over. Those of us who just didn't get enough of over-imbibing, wearing goofy hats and arguing with our relatives are now entering that bleakest time of the year when there is no officially recognized reason to make fools of ourselves.
Since the end of December and the first of January is sort of a "two-fer," it's pretty easy to convince yourself the party just won't quit. But a quick look at the calendar will inform you that the next event of any consequence is about a month and a half off, and may not be that much to write home about, anyway.
Still, it's important to both dream and plan, so, in the interest of keeping hope alive, here's a handy guide to upcoming holidays, listed in order from "why are we doing this?" to full-on party hat and noisemaker, even when not actually appropriate.
A word of caution here: I'm sticking with the WASP-y, mainstream version of the holiday calendar and doubling up where appropriate. So, Hanukkah, you're riding with Christmas, and Passover and Easter are bunk mates.
And I frequently nod to the growing cultural diversity of Northwest Arkansas, but for the sake of brevity, I'm referencing what I know. However, any holiday that involves lights, partying, wearing your best clothes and dancing certainly has appeal to Southerners. So, Diwali, we've got our eye on you. Your day (or five) will come.
Anywho, here, in ascending order are the holiday hits of 2018.
• St. Valentine's Day -- there appears to be some controversy as to whether St. Valentine is even a saint. If he is, apparently he's the saint of Not Making Dinner Reservations in Time and Having to Eat Take-Out Chinese. Or the saint of Unmet and Potentially Unreasonable Expectations. Either.
• Arbor Day/Earth Day -- Bad news: no day off. Good news: no suddenly realizing you didn't buy a card or present.
• St. Patrick's Day/Cinco de Mayo -- In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is a somewhat solemn religious event. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory of the Mexican army at the Battle of Puebla and is generally marked by patriotic parades. In the United States, both holidays are an excuse to culturally appropriate and wear strange outfits and get hammered. Because ... America.
• President's Day/Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- Spend your entire life courageously fighting for what's right and for the betterment of your fellow man. Get rewarded by having your birthday moved to a Monday so people can take a day off and go to big sales at the mall. Sigh.
• Mother's Day -- The day you give your kids money so they can buy a present for their mother.
• Father's Day -- The day you give your kids money so they can buy a present for you. Make sure you mention keeping the receipt.
• Memorial Day/Labor Day/Veteran's Day -- As a nation, we tend to focus on what's in front of us, and keep moving full speed ahead. Contemplation is not our strong suit, even when virtually required to do so. With that in mind, it's no wonder all three of these holidays mean a day at the lake for many of us. Still, it's worth stopping to say, "Thank you for your service."
• Fourth of July -- The day we celebrate our independence by literally blowing up money in our yards and potentially doing damage to ourselves. Yeah, well, the watermelon is nice.
• Easter -- I've always enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with friends and family contemplating the Divine's love for and relationship with us. I'm still not sure where a magical rodent breaking into my house and hiding things fits into all of this. Yes, I know, I could Google it. But, still ...
• Thanksgiving -- Gettin' real now! We're heading into peak holiday here. Gloves off, napkins on. And to top it off, football and no need to get all dressed up for church! Though you do have those special Thanksgiving stretchy pants.
• New Year's -- Like Thanksgiving, still with football but no getting all dressed up for church. However, you have to stay up until midnight.
• Christmas -- Thanksgiving plus presents. But, it's got that "dressed up for church" deal. And, if you still have younger kids, you're getting up really early.
Whatever your feelings about the holidays, here's hoping the ones you celebrate this year are the best, full of all the things and all the people you hold dear. With or without the stretchy pants.
Commentary on 01/05/2018
Print Headline: Happy holidays