When the going gets tough, the tough celebrate holidays

When the going gets tough, the tough celebrate holidays

Call me festive, but I like to celebrate. Constantly.

  • By GEOFF KIRSCH For the Juneau Empire
  • Sunday, January 27, 2019 10:00am
  • NeighborsHolidays

Happy Holidays!

Now, I’m aware you may be confused — why am I offering season’s greetings now, a month after the fact?

Call me festive, but I like to celebrate. Constantly.

You see, if I’ve learned anything during my 12-plus years in Juneau — aside from an appreciation for good drainage and fine salmon jerky — it’s how to stay positive when the prevailing weather pattern, not to mention the current news cycle, starts making you question getting out of bed for any reason other than biological necessity.

Ergo, I make every season holiday season; to me, the entire year is the most wonderful time of the year. Well, aside from those three weeks in August when my in-laws visit. “Most wonderful” are not the two words I’d use to describe that time of year.

[Happy ‘Neau Year: Resolutions for Juneau in 2019]

Still, a holiday’s a holiday. And as a wise man once said: “Celebrate good times, come on!” That man’s name was Kool. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. And his gang.

Speaking of, less than a week until Groundhog Day. Of course, in Alaska, it’s called Marmot Day, where tradition dictates Alaskans play special Marmot Day tricks on each other, like renaming Groundhog Day for no good reason. And there’s sure to be an extra-special amount of trickery this year now that legislature’s back in session, with one-party control of both chambers and the executive branch.

Close on its heels, obviously, we’ve got Valentine’s Day. Now, it’s not about how much money you spend on your valentine. Remember the reason for the season, which I think has something to do with Cupid ridding Ireland of snakes.

[Photos: Christmas lights in Juneau]

Take me, for example. I like to keep it simple. This year, I’m taking my wife to this quaint little Italian place I know of … it’s called Domino’s? And then we’ll retire to an exclusive late-night spot— our living room — where I’ve reserved the VIP section. Hopefully our kids mind the velvet ropes.

No matter how you observe Valentine’s Day, don’t just bask in its afterglow, not with Presidents’ Day breathing down our necks. As usual, I’ve decked my family’s halls with all sorts of Presidents’ Day gear — you should see the giant, inflatable, dancing stovepipe hat on our front lawn.

I know it sounds over the top, but when it comes to going all out, I’m all in. This past Alaska Day, for instance, we totally did a human sacrifice! And to think, my wife just wanted to get brunch and take a nap.

In March I look forward to St. Patrick’s Day and Passover — mmmmm, green matzoh — and of course, Seward Day. Man, I hope Seward Claus brings me something good this year, and not that lump of crude oil he left in my stocking last year. I know some people are into home-refining, but I prefer store-bought fossil fuels.

[Breaking bread in the new year]

April features Arbor Day, which I intend to observe by shooting off fireworks. Heck, maybe I’ll even squeeze off a few rounds from my .44. What better way to honor our nation’s trees than by blasting holes in a few?

Our annual Flag Day egg hunt promises to be fun — with a Betsy Ross piñata and a special visit from jolly old Francis Scott Key (don’t tell the kids it’s dad). Inevitably, however, someone always gets sick from drinking too much flagnog.

Of course, there’s the Fourth of July (can’t wait to go caroling — “Born in the USA”). But I’m still trying to figure out my costume. I’m thinking either Thomas Paine or “sexy” Thomas Paine.

And let’s not forget Labor Day. It’ll be hard to top the labor-lantern I carved last year in the exact likeness of Eugene V. Debs (although some people said it looked more like Jimmy Hoffa).

But this Labor Day my daughter will be performing in her school Labor Day pageant, which, of course, culminates with a staged reading of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Hope I can get a seat.

[Practically perfect for the holidays]

So as you can see, the year provides many opportunities to go whole hog. Which reminds me, better order that whole hog in time for Earth Day. Can you imagine Earth Day with no pig roast?

But that’s the beauty of non-stop holidays. It’s never too early or late to start celebrating them. Plus, if you miss one, there’s another right behind it, especially considering the all the unofficial observances. For instance, March 14, or 3/14, is “Pi” Day. But I’m not a geometrist, so I usually just get some Chinese food and go to the movies. Or, this past Jan. 12 was Kiss-a-Ginger Day. Don’t worry if you missed it. You can make it up to me on Boink-a-Ginger Day … unfortunately that only comes once every four years.

Point is, don’t limit yourself. Just jump right in.

For prospective first-timers, might I suggest Guy Fawkes Day? Go ahead, in 2019, give that special someone the best Guy Fawkes Day they’ve ever had. Go on, get inspired. Maybe, just maybe, you might even outdo me. Although, fair warning, I’ve already booked two seats aboard Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. This year, my wife and I are spending Guy Fawkes Day in space.

Now, if you don’t mind, Presidents’ Day fast approaches and I still have to chop down our Presidents’ Day tree. Will I harvest it from approved public lands at least one-quarter mile from the roadway? I cannot tell a lie.

• Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning Juneau-based writer and humorist. “Slack Tide” appears every second and fourth Sunday in Neighbors.


• Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning Juneau-based writer and humorist. “Slack Tide” appears every second and fourth Sunday in Neighbors.


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