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the holidays


Okay, it’s over. I’m 10 pounds overweight, feeling miserable, and resolving, like 29 million other Americans, to fight off the ravages of the recent holidays before (or rather, as) I bust out of my pants. I’ve got to at least put a dent in it before I have to put on a bathing suit again. And that could be as early as next month if I get my wish to go to Florida for the second half of this ugly New Jersey winter.

I admit it – I’m a victim of that giant end-of-year holiday “Hallothanksmaseveday,” which starts with the candy and costume ads on October 1, and runs right through to the blowing of the last noisemaker early on the morning of January 1. Four holidays are telescoped into a dizzying three-month orgy of candy, turkey, pumpkin pie, cookies, sugarplums (whatever they are), hams, yams, nog, logs (cheese and Yule), lights on trees, gifts galore, champagne, shrimp, long brunches, and tall Bloody Marys.

We’ve now entered a brief no-holiday season. Sure, there’s Martin Luther King Day and football playoffs and the Super Bowl in early February, but otherwise, the stretch between New Year’s and mid-February is relatively holiday-free. That brief respite looks like my best chance to get a serious start on losing the holiday fat before the parade of celebrations begins again.

Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, and the start of summer, followed by the Fourth of July – that covers February to mid-year. August and September are relatively light, with only the traditional Labor Day lamentation of summer’s end to break up the monotony. But throw in the occasional birthday, anniversary party, or wedding, and the summer can be full of overindulgence opportunities, too.

Then it’s October 1, and the holiday marketing machine cranks up “Hallothanksmaseveday” all over again. What a life.

Happy New Year!