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A new kind of holiday

by ELENA JOHNSON/Coeur Voice contributor
| December 19, 2020 1:00 AM

It’s the most wonderful time of year – and I’m not talking about the holidays that are just ending (a belated Chag Urim Sameach to you all!) and about to begin.

We’re finally rounding on the first day of winter, December 21. Or as we’ll call it this oh-so-glorious annum of 2020, Monday. Of course the coldest, most dreaded season of the year would start on a Monday after everything else that’s happened this year.

I’m not much of a cool-weather junkie. Other than the blissful sight of freshly fallen powdery piles begging to be crunched under foot I pretty much count the days till next Halloween (316 precisely).

What I do love are long daylight hours, which ironically makes the winter solstice, a.k.a. the shortest day of the year, especially joyous.

Sure, it’s been a rough ride up until this point, and it’s not going to get noticeably better for a while, but if I have to get up before the sun does – which is pretty much the rudest thing I’ve ever heard – I like the satisfaction of knowing the end date is in sight.

In fact I’d like to invent a new holiday. (We could use a few in December.) Kicking it off Monday morning, I invite you all to a brand new celebration. It’s socially distant, too!

After the screech of the alarm sounds and you’ve grabbed your morning brew (or OJ if you’re the type who wakes up without rotting your insides with unholy amounts of caffeine), here’s all you have to do to participate:

Jump back in bed, wrap yourself in a blanket, a fuzzy robe, or whatever makes you look like a big, bulky, and irate grizzly who’s been poked awake from a wintry sleep (no matter if grizzlies hibernate or not; lots of holiday fun is based off nonsense – except the Great Pumpkin, of course). Take a sip to get your verve up, throw back your head, open the hatch, and HOWL.

And yogis this one’s for you. Take your Ujai breath practice and channel it into short bursts of HA. Only this time you’ll laugh because the short, dark days are coming to an end. And slowly but surely (emphasis on slowly) it will even be light as you wake up again. (Don’t look up how long that will take, though. It will just dampen your new –holiday-spirits.)

For the less observant types, simply glaring out the still too-dark window as your lips hover over your morning cuppa’ and thinking equally dark thoughts is more than plenty to avoid accusations of Scrooge-like abstinence.

The lucky crew who can sleep in till it is light out, well, you can always glare contemptuously at the early sunset (though they’re rather pretty this time of year, so perhaps a smug grin is more likely?). Sooner now than later, those sunsets will occur at more reasonable hours.

If for some reason you don’t have cats to teach you how to shriek and bay first thing in the morning, there’s always hot cocoa and a cozy night in.

As the normally-outdoors cat who’s been napping on my bed for the past four hours would care to remind you all, a cozy lie-in is the most wonderful winter celebration of all.