I always find this week to be a little strange. We are nestled between two holidays but Christmas is the big one and now it is over. So all the Christmas merchandise which the stores pushed out in November (or late October) is now going to be trash that must be moved out to make room for new year stuff. Instead of the bright and shiny displays, the stuff will be packed into aisles and marked down and look like it has been picked over multiple times. Kind of a sad ending.
Then again, that’s what happens to all the nicely wrapped stuff. Well, I don’t wrap nicely because gift wrapping skills do not run in my family. My wife though has a knack for it and her stuff is usually Martha Stewart quality. But we had assorted presents from the siblings under the tree with different colored paper and ribbons and bows. Then, all of that gets stuffed in a large garbage back and was picked up by the trash people the next day. Time to move on.
Even my satellite radio channel ditched nearly all of the Christmas channels the day after Christmas. Like it is perfectly acceptable to listen to Christmas music in November when they turn them on but it is some kind of sin to want to hear Mannheim Steamroller on the 26th of December. Got to turn back on the Billy Joel channel for those who want to hear Piano Man for the millionth time. Nothing against Billy Joel or Piano Man which is a nice Viennese Waltz (see how I can’t listen to music anymore without thinking dance). But it is just that weird awkwardness that says Christmas music is a thing right up until Christmas but must be put away after.
And I know people who get the decorations down and the tree out of the house as soon as possible. We drive by the tree recycling stations and you see them discarded and waiting to be turned into mulch. I’m in the camp that leaves things up until after new year. Mostly because winter gives me the blahs and having brightly colored lights and things makes me happy and what’s wrong with being happy.
But you know it is a strange time of year because there are football games on every day. Well, if you don’t care about football, then you probably don’t even know this. Somehow the office pool thing has caught on with college bowls so you have to predict winners against the spread and assign confidence to each game. It isn’t as big as the basketball pool but its a thing so it gives you a reason to watch. I’m doing really bad though so I give up keeping score.
Frankly, some of those bowl games seem a little sad. Some are set in places that would hardly be considered vacation destinations. I was watching one and they had the mayor of the city in a commercial talking about all the great parts of her city. I shouldn’t make fun of this though since everyone has to live somewhere and I think you can find good almost anywhere. People who live in more exciting places would find my town a little dull since we are in the middle of the country where there isn’t exciting scenery or nice weather but there are nice things here as well.
But I’m glad to not be at work this week. I did take my lap top home with me and I’ve been checking email every now and then. I know I’m supposed to be on vacation but being home doesn’t seem like a real vacation and there is nothing worse than having hundreds of email’s to go through on your first day back.
Maybe I should have said it is nice to not be around people because New Year’s Eve is a thing and everyone needs to be out partying. And they just assume you should be as well. Hate getting that question “Do you have any big plans for xx”. Especially when it is New Year’s Eve and you should have plans. First, I don’t really have plans for anything. I’ve got a vacation in February that’s planned. Other than that, not so much. Secondly, I hate crowds and I hate the idea of getting dressed up to go to a party to celebrate turning a page in a calendar. Actually, there are opportunities to use my dancing skills but my wife is having none of it so we’ll just have a nice dinner and then stay inside away from the craziness.
The other part of this week is that news tends to slow and I think people get lazy and bored so you get an endless series of lists of the “top stories” of the past year. As if we need to feel nostalgic about the very recent past. I don’t think anyone gets the real lesson of those lists. Most of the time, because of the news cycle we live in, every story gets blow way out of proportion and is like the most important thing ever to happen. You get some time and perspective and look back and read the lists and go “did that really happen”.
Just so you don’t think I’m turning into a New Year’s Grinch, I should point out that the cold that started the Tuesday before Christmas is still with me. It has never advanced to a point where it becomes something serious that could actually be treated with something so it stays in that annoying mode when you are left with over the counter stuff. Stuff that never really does anything but maybe makes you feel like you are actually doing something to combat the cold.
Well, that’s really all I’ve got for now. Just felt like putting some thoughts out there so you get these ramblings.