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Holidays not anticlimactic, quite the contrary

by Scott Murphy, Staff Writer

While driving across a snowy mountain pass east of Austin on Highway 50 on the Sunday before Thanksgiving at 7 a.m. in the name of holiday togetherness, I was reminded why my favorite day on the calendar was, is and forever shall be Jan. 2.

Yes, Jan. 2, as in 10 days ago, and oh what a day it was.

It was great because of what it represents and all the things that didn’t happen.



Of course, it represents the beginning of the non-holiday season. The day the holidays officially leave the Western world alone to carry on in the sweet bliss that is normalcy.

Whether noticed or not, that’s the day when everyone can, if they choose, breathe a big sigh of relief before their bloated credit card statements crush the mailbox and they obliterate the scales as a result of obscene amounts of holiday candy intake.



It’s when relatives are gone, people pull down garish lights from their roofs, kids can recover from their Christmas present-extravaganza-induced state of nirvana and no longer crave candy canes for breakfast.

Ah, feel the tranquility that continues until just after Halloween, if I stay out of department stores.

The holidays are gone and won’t be back for another 10 months.

Now, I like Christmas and Thanksgiving and New Year’s, to an extent, and chafe at being called a Scrooge.

But I don’t like seeing Christmas decorations in stores before Halloween, I’ve never enjoyed watching televised parades and have little use for cheap champagne and noisemakers.

However, I truly enjoy the passing of the holidays for all the things I don’t have to keep doing in the name of avoiding the Scrooge label.

As of Jan. 2, I’m not required to spend money I don’t have (Christmas), eat food I never eat (turkey on Thanksgiving) or drink alcoholic beverages (tequila) I never drink (except on New Year’s Eve).

Because of January’s beautiful presence, I can return to my generally frugal existence (which was destroyed in December because I don’t normally spend $500 on fun-filled surprises) my regular diet of all peanut butter all the time and my preferred drinking beverage of choice, Newcastle beer.

Best of all, I don’t have to travel long distances like my Thanksgiving-inspired trip to scenic Eastern Nevada to see people that don’t travel long distances to see me.

So maybe I am a Scrooge-in-waiting. But when it comes to the holidays, that’s nothing compared to what my girlfriend calls me.