Here we are in mid-January. Christmas is a mere memory. Thanksgiving seems like it occurred in another century.
Most humanoids are back to work, and families from sea to shining sea have returned home after wonderful visits with kinfolk people.
In short, life has returned to “normal,” whatever that may be. Or put another way, following the spectacular holiday season, most of you have returned to a humdrum existence (except me).
As an expert Calendar Watcher, occasionally to start the New Year I do a piece on how blahsville January can be. I’m sure many of you agree the month is just that, blahsville.
If I had my way, Congress would rename the year’s first month “Dullsuary.” What the heck, they’re not doing much else.
But back to reality.
I ran across one of my previous columns on “criticizing January” the other day while doing in-depth research. I thought I’d share again some of my thoughts put forth almost 11 years to the day (Jan. 15, 2009). Here’s hoping High Sun Management doesn’t mind me repeating myself publicly.
Looking back, I put my finger on exactly why there is such a letdown come January. To begin with, it’s because the “holiday” season now starts in November and lasts two glorious months. Excitement fills the air.
(NON-EIDTOR’S NOTE: If one includes Halloween, the holiday atmosphere begins in October.)
Thusly, we all anticipate the upcoming Thanksgiving celebration, making plans with family and friends on where we’re going to eat and what relatives will make an appearance on the Big Day.
Also, as I have so smartly mentioned before, many of our fellow citizens are now decorating their homes for Christmas even before Thanksgiving, which is alright by me. That extends the season and makes them happy.
Even the Hallmark Channel starts showing Christmas movies in October, which is also alright by me. Lights, action, camera!
Once past Thanksgiving, Christmas goes into overdrive. Shopping and Christmas music fill the air.
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go ...” Sing along, if you like.
Kids are out of school and some adults are taking vacation days around the holidays. Love and togetherness are everywhere.
Then … IT’S ALL OVER. Just like that.
COLUMN INTERUPTION: Funny story about one of my past anti-January columns.
At the time, the late Mike Hefley was the great Lee College basketball coach. He was a marvelous personage and a dear friend.
After the column appeared, Mike told me he enjoyed my journalistic findings and felt the same way I did about the month of January. I was surprised, to say the least.
“Mike,” I said, “you’re a basketball coach and basketball is a big, big deal in January. How on Earth can you say you think January is dull?”
I’m not sure I got a satisfactory answer from the Rebels coach. But I did respect him for having such good taste in journalism.
Mike, by the way, was without a doubt the Best Dressed Man in Baytown, and possibly Channelview. He was always immaculate.
But he sometime took it a little too far. One day Wife Margie and I drove by his house and he was out MOWING HIS YARD dressed like he was getting ready to attend church, or possibly the Oscar ceremony. While pushing the lawnmower, Mike was wearing dress slacks, a really nice shirt, and shoes that would make Leonardo DiCaprio envious.
I promise this is true, so help me Oscar de la Renta.
Anyway, where were we? Oh, yeah, January.
So, punk January, you stink for making people feel like they do.
There’s just something in the air, even with bowl games, and birthdays, and wedding anniversaries. The entire atmosphere is different. There’s a kind of back-to-the-grind mentality, which isn’t nearly as much fun as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
So there it is. That’s how I’ve felt a long time, and that’s how I feel now. I’ll get over it, but it will take a while.
You, too, huh?
Jim Finley is a retired managing editor of The Sun. He can be reached at email@example.com, Attention: Jim Finley.