Now, I know what you’re thinking, and, yes, they’re real.
I’m also aware of your possible confusion — why am I offering season’s greetings a month late?
Call me festive, but I like to celebrate constantly.
Ergo, for me, every season is holiday season; the entire year is the most wonderful time of the year. Well, aside from that stretch in August when my kids’ pre-school goes on vacation. “Most wonderful” are not the two words I’d use to describe that stretch.
Speaking of — only three more shopping days until Groundhog Day. In Alaska, it’s called Marmot Day, where tradition dictates Alaskans play special Marmot Day tricks on each other, such as consuming precious legislative session time with bills mandating the official statewide name change from Groundhog Day to Marmot Day. Hilarious!
We’ve got Valentine’s Day on deck (nothing says Valentine’s Day like a baseball metaphor). Now, it’s not about how much money you spend. Remember the reason for the season, which I think has something to do with Cupid surviving his first winter in the New World.
Take me, for example. I’m keeping it simple. This year, my wife and I will begin our Valentine’s Day at this quaint little Italian place I know of… Did I mention that Italian place was my villa in Tuscany?
You don’t own a villa in Tuscany? OK, your villa in Portofino, then. Whatever.
But no matter how you observe Valentine’s Day, don’t just bask in its afterglow — not with Presidents’ Day breathing down your neck.
As usual, we’re headed back east to spend Presidents’ Day with family. Nothing beats New York City for Presidents’ Day atmosphere: the Radio City Presidents’ Day Spectacular, the Presidents’ Day Tree in Rockefeller Center, waiting for the ball to drop in Washington Square (or at Lincoln Center—just as good).
Bear in mind you can never make your plans too early. Presidents’ Day travel can be horrific — we booked our flight /months/ ago. And dinner reservations? Nightmare.
I know it sounds over the top, but that’s the kind of guy I am. I do it up. When it comes to going all out, I’m all in.
This past Chinese New Year, for instance, we totally sacrificed a virgin! And to think, my wife just wanted to stay home watching “Dick Clark’s Chinese New Years Rockin’ Eve.”
In March I look forward to St. Patrick’s Day — mmmmm, green matzo — and of course, in April, Earth Day. Like everyone else I intend to spend Earth Day watching football, gorging myself silly, and then shooting off fireworks — heck, maybe even a few rounds from my .44. What better way to honor the planet than by blasting some holes in it?
Oh, and I’ve already started brainstorming my Memorial Day costume. I’m thinking either “war veteran” or “sexy war veteran.”
Our annual Flag Day egg hunt promises to be fun—with a Betsy Ross piñata and everything — although someone always gets sick from drinking too much flag-nog. Anything to get out of caroling.
Of course, there’s the Fourth of July, but I’m Jewish, so I usually just go see a movie and get Chinese food.
And let’s not forget Labor Day. It’ll be hard to top the award-winning jack-o-lantern I carved last year in the exact likeness of Samuel Gompers (although some people said it looked more like Cesar Chavez).
But this Labor Day my daughter will finally be old enough to perform in her class’ Labor Day pageant, which, of course, culminates with a dramatic rendering of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. I’m encouraging her to audition for Taft (Hartley isn’t nearly as meaty a role).
So as you can see, the year provides many opportunities to go whole hog. Which reminds me, better order that whole hog in time for Arbor Day. Can you imagine Arbor Day with no pig roast? That’d be like Hanukkah without the binge drinking.
But that’s the beauty of holidays. It’s never too late to start celebrating them. Plus, if you miss one, there’s another right behind it, and a bunch of stuff to buy conveniently displayed everywhere, right at eye level.
So don’t give up! When Moses led his people to Plymouth Rock and waited for the Easter Bunny to lift up his shirt and throw beads outside the Bastille, did they give up? Hell, no. The king of England wasn’t going to push them around anymore. Because when it’s dry and ready, that dreidel shall be played, man. That $!%@ shall be played.
You get what I’m saying?
Of course, there are lots of unofficial holidays, too. For instance, Personal Day, which comes every other Friday — as opposed to Sick Day, which comes but five times a year (or Vacation Day, which everyone accrues differently according to employment tier).
Not far off, Tax Day.
You know, I had my very first kiss on Tax Day. I was 12, she was 11. As fate would have it, we both wound up standing under the 1099 Miscellaneous Income Form and, well, you know the custom.
But it’s a bittersweet holiday for me. Growing up, we waited until Tax Day morning to open our boxes of receipts. One year, I snuck mine back to my room and started auditing. Well, I guess I fell asleep with my flashlight and magnifying glass and… I accidentally burned our house down.
That’ll teach me to get a heard start on my taxes.
Point is, don’t limit yourself.
For prospective first-timers, might I suggest Canadian Thanksgiving? Go ahead, this year give that special someone the best damn Canadian Thanksgiving they’ve ever had. Go on, get inspired. Maybe, just maybe, you might even outdo me.
Although, fair warning, I’ve already reserved two seats aboard Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. This year, my wife and I are spending Canadian Thanksgiving in space.
Now, if you don’t mind, Presidents’ Day fast approaches and I’ve still got a lot of work on my Abraham Lincoln nativity scene — Mary Todd’s proving a lot tougher than I thought.
• “Slack Tide” appears every other Sunday in Neighbors. See more of Geoff’s work at www.geoffkirsch.com.