The winter holidays have always been my favorite time of year. I’m one of those neurotic happy holiday people who can’t wait for that first holiday tune to be played on the radio come Thanksgiving weekend, and am big time bummed when we revert back to every day tunes at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. I would listen to Christmas music year round, and leave my Christmas decorations up well into the summer, but then I would have nothing to look forward to come the Holiday season.
But it is the feast of festive lights that consistently mesmerize me. The twinkle of bright lights on an otherwise dark canvas can’t help but bring a smile to my face. And gratefully there seems to be lights a plenty, no matter where I travel. Whether it’s the tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City, The Plaza lights in Kansas City, the Chihuly Christmas exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix or the Holidazzle Parade in Minneapolis.
For me the Christmas holidays represent what is good in the world. A “Happy Holidays” greeting melts all lines, barriers, borders. They come at a time of year when most people could do with a good dose of good cheer and a break from the go-go-go life they live throughout the year. A time to bring family and friends together to celebrate the memories of the past. A time to refresh and renew and prepare for the new year to come.
The new year arrives, just as the old year finished – in an array of bright lights. Across the world, fireworks explode as each time zone rings in the New Year. The most famous New Year’s Eve celebration – the ball drop in New York City’s Time Square, may only have been outdone this year by Dubai’s world record in setting off 500,000 fireworks along the shoreline creating an “…artificial sunrise…” (as reported by Guinness World Records).
<b>Ball</b> drops in NYC's Times Square, ushering in <b>2014</b> | Daily Record <b>…</b>
It is now January 6th and after two plus weeks of celebrating the holidays I am sated. Extra large crab legs and scallops, prime rib, ham, scalloped potatoes, egg bakes, sautéed spinach, homemade pasta. Sugar cookies, speculose cookies, chocolates. Mimosas, wine, beer, blood-orange margaritas, pomegranate sparkler. Golf, tennis, hiking, billiards, cards, movies. Shopping, wrapping, opening, exchanging. Gatherings galore of family and friends. And finally – sleep.
I have rolled out of 2013 – literally from all of the food and beverage indulgences – and figuratively rolled into 2014 where I find myself, like millions around the world, contemplating my New Year’s resolutions. Keep it simple stupid is the mantra that comes to mind. Breathe. Less stress. Be happier. Be kinder. Smile more. Hug lots.
Happy New Year to all and may 2014 be just that – a ‘happy’ new year!