Time for holiday time-out

I've been suffering from a case of holiday burnout. Most people have this affliction for a few days once New Year's Day passes. My case still lingers like the last drunken party guest. Even stone-sober people aren't always sure if any given day is some sort of holiday or celebration or commemoration.

Valentine's Day is making me nauseous. It's not the holiday itself that bothers me; it's the long preparation and incessant chatter and blinding red-everything about it:

"I bought my woman a new red flannel nightgown. Things should get pretty hot ... Hahaha!"

"We'll get all liquored up with the booze that has red hearts all over it and have a cozy night. Yee-haw!"

"My baby bought me chocolates that were in a red heart-shaped box. I didn't eat them because I didn't want to get fat. I don't want my sugar daddy to find out there's another guy. I'd have to use daddy's Mastercard to buy him something. Daddy would ka-ching me to the curb if he found out there was a behind-the-trailer man! I'm gonna give Number 2 the candy because's got no job, but he's ultra-phat. It's all good!"

The last one probably was heard on the Dr. Phil Oprah Ricki Springer Show, not around town.

Some local retailers started promoting Valentine's Day on Jan. 2. I had already seen enough red after the Christmas hype. Remember the holiday that too many business people believe begins in July? Seeing Valentine red so early just made me see more red!

Retailers hope the long promotional push will be enough to make people buy chocolates, cards, jewelry, night wear, towels, refrigerators power saws and all kinds of crap left over after Christmas. Romance is nice and life would be boring without it, but the Valentine's Day hoopla is enough to make any sane person --even a romantic -- want to puke due to massive overdose of the holiday "spirit."

And Valentine's Day is just the tip of the holiday burnout iceberg. Once Feb. 15 arrives, the red store decorations will be replaced by Easter candy, baskets and decorations. Yellow, green and pink will dominate to the point of temporary blindness. Thank goodness there are small sections in grocery stores with Kosher foods. The token Stars of David break up the retail monotony.

It's hard to find what I'm looking for on the cereal aisle any day of the year. At Easter, the entire store looks like Toucan Sam's beak!

And many American children believe Easter focuses on rabbits who lay eggs -- sometimes caramel-filled -- because of the Cadbury Bunny commercials.

There's nothing wrong with holidays, it's just that not every day of the year should be spent having or awaiting a holiday. Ordinary days make holidays seem special.

While surfing the Internet recently, I found a Web site called web-holidays.com. It's slogan is, "Everyday is a holiday." What an awful thought! It states that February is Vegetation Month, Potato Lover's Month, American History Month, American Music Month, National Cherry Month, Black History Month, Great American Pies Month and National Scottish Culture Month.

Holidays missed this month include, in no particular order: Chinese New Year, Candlemas, Primrose Day, Kite Flying Day, Ghost Day, White Shirt Day, Inventors Day and Groundhog Day.

Holy, Punxsutawney Phil!

After Valentine's Day is Canadian Flag Day, Mexican Flag Day, Presidents' Day, Floral Design Day, St. Sigfrid's Day, St. Wulfric's Day and St. Peter Damian's Day.

The last holiday, on Feb. 21, is for the patron saint against headaches. I plan on taking plenty of aspirin to celebrate. Don't forget to pick up a cold compress for your sweetie so you both can share the special day!

Virtually every day in February is devoted to a certain food. Some days allow the truly hungry to feel stuffed because the list of celebrated foods is as long as one's arm. Here are some in February:

Chinese Butter Festival, Stuffed Mushroom Day, Fettuccine Alfredo Day, Tortini Day, Crab Stuffed Flounder Day and Tortilla Chip Day.

Margarita Day comes two days ahead of the last commemoration while Kahlua Day is three days after. It's a shame because eating chips always makes me so thirsty. And Setsubun, the Japanese Bean-Throwing Festival, is probably an eating day, not just a hurling day.

Many days highlight desserts and include: Heavenly Hash Day, Carrot Cake Day, Chocolate Fondue Day, Plum Pudding Day, Cream Cheese Brownie Day, Cherry Pie Day, Sticky Bun Day and Chocolate Mint Day.

Please deliver us from the madness, oh Cadbury Bunny!

Terri Harber works on the Nevada Appeal's news desk, usually during holidays.


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