There's nothing that'll catapult you back to reality after the holidays more than this:
Christmas Tree Roadkill
Photo courtesy of Adina Kalish Neufeld
All that time and energy spent picking out just the right tree, carefully placing it in the perfect spot in your home, hand picking ornaments, coordinating wrapping paper and ribbons, for what? Just to be tossed out in the street like a cheap....okay, we won't go there. But seriously? Is there no respect for the tree itself? After holding court in your living room for a solid month doesn't it deserve a proper burial?
Watching people remove their holiday lights and flinging Christmas trees on the side of the road reminds me that January through April are probably the most difficult months of the year to endure from an emotional perspective. It's back to the grind. Do your taxes. Lose five pounds. Get your drawers organized. Buckle down. Stinks, doesn't it?
The fall is awesome. Crunchy leaves, pumpkin picking and apple cider cheerfully lead us into Halloween where more fun awaits. Candy, costumes, mulled wine. Boom. Then you've got turkeys and cranberries and burnt orange-colored side dishes, family gatherings and more mulled wine. You're barely done taking off your Halloween costume when Santa shows up but that keeps you going for a while and yeah, even though it's annoying, it's fun to go to the mall and get wrapped up in the hype. Presents, Bieb's Christmas song, peppermint schnapps, office parties, buttery appetizers. It's all good. And who can resist staying up late on Dec. 31 to watch Ryan Seacrest (a quick pause in memory of Dick Clark) and cringe when Fergie comes on wearing WHAT? And then you wake up on Jan. 1 and, BAM, just like that, you're a dead Christmas tree on the side of the road.
Where's the fun now? What the hell are we supposed to do for the next four months?
I'll tell you. We need more Candy Land fun spaces between the months of January to April, especially for those folks who live in super cold places. A few new holidays to break up the impending monotony. Here are just a few suggestions:
1. National Spa Day - Should occur sometime between Jan. 1 and Jan. 30. Every single person who manages a household, a job or anything that gives them the slightest degree of stress is required to report to the nearest day spa for an entire day of treatments. The U.S. government should pay for this by closing the post office on Saturdays, Mondays and Tuesdays (get over it if you're against this...all you get is junk mail and bills anyway) and using just one day worth of savings to offset the costs.
2. National Karaoke Day - Should occur sometime between Feb. 1 and Feb. 28 (unless it's a leap year). By this time, we're all so loopy from staying inside and being so vitamin D deficient that we should be forced by law to break out in song. Glee style. Offices should be closed and employees directed to nearest karaoke bar. Several rounds of "I Will Survive" and "Summer Loving" will result in higher productivity and less yelling.
3. 1980s Day - Should occur sometime between March 1 and March 30th. All citizens should be forced to wear pink or blue Izods (or both, if you're coordinating with a friend) with the collar up, carry a Pappagallo purse, tease their hair, unplug any electronic device for the day (because they haven't been invented yet), drink an Orange Julius and watch Back to the Future. Again, all of these must take place for the full effect.
By this time, it's almost April, daylight savings will kick in soon and we're good to go as summer will be here before we know it! Again, these are just suggestions and I invite anyone who would like to campaign for these winter month survival holidays to do so before we fall off the fiscal cliff.
In the meantime, just go ahead and discard that Christmas tree and pull out your spread sheets for 2013. It's almost tax time and well, party's over. Happy New Year!
Post New Year's Artichoke Dip (to be eaten on a random Tuesday in February)
•2 cans of artichokes
•appx. 1.5 cups of freshly grated parmesan cheese
•appx. 1 cup of mayonnaise
•Salt and pepper to taste
1.Drain and chop artichokes.
2.Combine with mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
3.Pour into baking dish and top with paprika.
4.Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
5.Serve with crackers or French bread.
Follow Adina Kalish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mykitchenchaos