Winter, for all practical purposes, lasts from December 1 to February 28. Of those 90 days, eight of them, from Christmas to New Year’s inclusive, are my favorites.
It all started when the company I worked for gave us the last week of the year off as paid holidays. Now, in addition to three weeks of vacation, I had another week, and didn’t have to use one of them to take that week off. Ever since, even after we were sold to a company that didn’t give us that week off as paid holidays, I would take that week off, because we just liked it.
Understand, we don’t do anything major that week. The only year we went anywhere, it was to spend Christmas with Mom. In past years, we’d spend the week going to movies, going out to lunch and for coffee, or just sitting around and reading or watching TV, just being together. When I was traveling a lot, it was nice to spend a week together. Even now that I’m retired, home all the time, and somewhat handicapped, we still enjoy it.
One of the reasons is that all the hoopla surrounding Christmas is over by then. We’ve pretty well insulated ourselves from that anyway, but it’s more the idea that the holiday is past. It meant something more in the years I was involved with Music Ministry, when it seemed that I was practicing all the time and we had to be at church earlier than anyone else (we usually played at the 9 PM Mass on Christmas Eve) and had to cope with the parking lot.
And, we have our traditional dinner of pizza rolls on New Year’s Eve. Neither one of us can remember when that started. It might have been when one of us asked "What do you want for dinner on New Year’s Eve?" and the other said "Pizza rolls."
"But John," you’re dying to ask me, "how is what you do during the last week of the year any different from what you do with the other 51?" The difference, I think, is knowing that it’s the last week of the year. Whatever else is going on in the world, there’s the feeling that you can say "I’ll worry about that next year" and really mean it. Even though "next year" is next week.
As for the rest of winter, it’s really kind of "enh." There’s nothing really to look forward to, unless you like white sales.