It is a happy talent to know how to play.
It's Holiday Hopping Time
For y'all in the South it's "Ho hum, another Winter." But for us'ns in the North, Winter is a challenge. And the way we get through is by making a big deal out of every chance we get to kick up and have some fun.
Halloween is over, with it's ghosts and fairies, the Walpurgisnacht for kids. That was fun. Now comes Thanksgiving, the turkey's dreaded day, but a smash hit for humans ever since the pilgrims.
Now there's a long stretch of time during which Winter begins, as if we didn't know already. Nothing to do now but go out with red noses and do our holiday shopping, if we have any money left. Sit on Santa's lap and ask him if he could take care of our debts.
Then the big one hits: Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa and whatever else folks can find to celebrate. Much congregating in churches and otherwise. Much getting together with people you may, in fact, like but only see once a year. Much unwrapping of gifts and throwing away of wrapping paper. Much eating of food, some of it no good for you. Much standing under the mistletoe. For my Canadian friends there's a Boxing Day in there somewhere (watch out for that left jab).
Now somehow we've go to make it to New Years Eve when we either drink too much or we go to Times Square (not recommended) or both, or we spend a quiet evening at home and hope for a better year.
Now comes the hard one. It's cold. The only things we get to celebrate are snow, ice, freezing rain, slippery side walks and icy streets. If you're lucky enough to go skiing, that's fun. But don't kid yourself. It's still cold.
When we finally reach into February, the dead of Winter, those of us in Pennsylvania can go and watch Punxutawney Phil come out of the ground, look around, see all the gawkers taking his picture and dive back down into his hole.
My Chinese friends get a New Years celebration next. Out come the dragons and the fire crackers. They help brighten up the drear.
Then we get to Hallmark's Day. Sorry, I mean Valentine's Day. You didn't know you had so many sweet hearts, did you? Or so few? Never mind, if you're Irish, you get another chance.
So now we inch along to Washington's Birthday where every thing goes on sale and everyone goes mad. Stay out of Macy's basement if you know what's good for you.
I get to have a birthday somewhere in this mix of holidays and celebrations. And though I'm hitting the big seven oh, I have no close friends or family around me, so who cares? I'll have a beer and congratulate myself.
Speaking of beer, I think it's one of Ireland's national beverages and one day a year it turns green. In New York there's a big parade up Fifth Avenue right past Saint Patrick's Cathedral and right into the bars. They've already been to church, those that go to church, and then it's time to "get acquainted." The Irish know how to have fun, "Kiss Me I'm Irish." It's better than the mistletoe.
Whoops! The calendar says it's Spring. You wanna bet?
May Day. Mom's Day. And before you know it it's hot, sweaty, scorching Summer again.
Happy hopping everyone.