“Without Valentine’s Day, February would be… well, January.”

Thank you, Jim Gaffigan, for the pragmatic synopsis.

LOVE statue in PhiladelphiaThe herd is agitated. Our annual holiday for florists approacheth. There are sure to be a few happy engagements on the 14th, but they’ll be dramatically outnumbered by bad restaurant prix-fixes, droopy roses and Whitman’s Samplers, the Walgreen’s standby for procrastinators.

Shun the madness. Use a bit of creativity this Valentine’s Day. You don’t need to shell out a ton of moolah but you do have to think – just a bit – about your significant other. Here are a few ideas to engage your imagination. Continue reading

“Oh, Christmas Twig. Oh, Christmas Twig.”

We have a home in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains and retreat there for the weekend following Christmas. Upon arrival, my kids conduct a stealth mission to find a mangy evergreen in need of a trim. They lop off 2 or 3 feet, scurry home, shove it in a stand and swaddle it in cotton batting in an attempt to keep it upright. We festoon it with a string of lights, some faded construction paper chains, and the handcrafted ornaments the kids made in elementary school – think elbow macaroni glitter-glued to a paper plate. We gather round and “ooh” and “aah” over the Christmas Twig as if it were the one in Rockefeller Center.

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Travel For Thanksgiving? Shoot Me Now.

Here’s one from the archives, originally published in 2012. My sentiments regarding holiday travel remain exactly the same since no one’s invented a way to breach the time-space continuum…yet. Happy Thanksgiving!

Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday. The Sunday of Thanksgiving Weekend lacks a moniker. Let’s try ?#$% Sunday because everyone who visited Grandma’s house hits the highway at exactly the same moment causing monumental traffic jams.

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Turn That Frown Upside Down

PhotoIt’s almost November 1 again and even though we don’t celebrate Día de los Muertos in my office, the mood grows ominous as the holiday approaches. Why? It marks the beginning of the annual vacation calendar circulation. I should rejoice, not shudder. Through retirements, involuntary terminations, and sheer fortitude, I’m at the top of the seniority ladder. Whee!! But, until last year, I would pass the calendar down to the rung tenant below me without choosing any days.

My co-workers would happily gobble up the “good” times:  the Fridays and Tuesdays surrounding Monday holidays; the span between Christmas and New Year’s; July; August. By the time I entered their dates on the dry erase calendar, I was left with a couple of Thursdays in February and a week in early December. And I had no one to blame but myself. Continue reading

A Hearty Thank You…

…to everyone who participated in my recent giveaway. The winner, as chosen by Rafflecopter is…

Chris Mooney!  Chris happens to be one of my original “followers” (the good type, not the creepy kind as in the Kevin Bacon series) so it’s nice to see him recognized for his loyalty. The Super Bowl XLVIII baseball cap will hit the post in the next day or so, weather permitting.

Enjoy the upcoming holidays – got any interesting travel plans? I am putting some distance between me and Old Man Winter and, if California’s as pleasant as I recall, I may not return!