As far as holidays go January is a quiet month.
Oh, there are big ones in the recent rear view mirror, three to be exact.
New Year's Eve and New Year's Day fall under the same umbrella. Haven't we all at one time or another gone to a New Year's Eve party? Dressed up, drinking champagne, making toasts. I remember as a kid seeing cartoons where the new year was a toddler and the year going out was an old man.
We counted down the old year and welcomed the new at midnight.
As you get older staying up till twelve is more of a challenge. If you're lucky you find yourself sitting around the television at midnight with your wife and kids shouting, "10, 9, 8, 7,...."
The following day is full of bowl games and lazing on the couch.
Before that is the second of the big ones--Christmas. Presents, the tree, Rudolph, and parents hanging on to you know what for as long as possible.
Santa. Naughty or nice. Milk and cookies left, with a note for Mister Claus, by the fireplace.
Christmas songs don't sound quite right in July, but boy do they sound great during the holiday season. I'll be home for Christmas gets me every time. If only in my dreams.
And the third big one--Thanksgiving.
Most of us never eat a turkey at any other time. Turkey plus stuffing, plus sweet potatoes, plus cranberry sauce, plus letting your pants out. Pumpkin pie afterwards.
And family. Let's not forget them. Friends, too.
And always remember they have a Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The next big day coming up is Valentine's Day or as my son used to call it when he was younger Valentime's Day. As an old married guy, let me say that day is more for younger couples, guys who want to impress their new love and includes new-er husbands.
Not to say it's not important but here's the deal.
You must not forget your anniversary and you better not forget her birthday. If you forget those, here comes the hot water you'll be in. I wouldn't advise you to forget Valentine's Day either although it's not nearly as important as the first two. As an added plus, TV commercials, highway billboards and in store reminders will help you to remember the date.
Candy, flowers and cards work as presents. Jewelry does too.
And yes, jewelry always works.
January doesn't have a big holiday but it does have something that the other months don't have and it's pretty special.
After you turn the marker for the old year it's here, January. Oh, you can grouse about the year gone by but here comes a new field full of freshly fallen snow. No footprints. Yet. The possibilities are endless and that makes us all very hopeful.
This may be April but it's tied to January by that very word, hope.
As the storm rages across our country you have to believe that one day it won't. There's an old saying that I cling to like a lifeboat in turbulent seas. A mantra as it were. The saying?
And this too shall pass.
Hang tough my friends.
Easier said than done but hang in there.
And have hope.
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