festival of sloth2

The year’s last gasp. It’s the only week of the year that is bookended by two major holidays. Beyond it is the great unknown of 2016. As Kurt Vonnegut Jr. said, “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!” Welcome to the week-long Festival of Sloth.

Christmas is in the rear-view mirror. Dad has spent an afternoon disassembling the plastic evergreen and trying to fit it back into the box. Across the street, another hubby is removing the dead Douglas Fir, dragging it through the house and out to the curb. He leaves a trail of pine needles in his wake. Merry Christmas, Honey. And then there are the lights, ladder, and luck. Luck is the most important.  Without a little of that, the emergency room bill will dwarf the Christmas credit card hangover. Next year, just put a wreath on the front door. Not as festive, but certainly safer.

Old Saint Nick is back home at the North Pole with his feet up. He’s working through the pounds of cookies left for him by good boys and girls. And he’s bitching to his elves about how tough this year was. Who is he kidding? He only works one day a year and owns his own home. You have to admit Nick has an efficient operation. I guess he majored in Logistics.

But if you’re one of the gainfully employed office workers you don’t have it so bad either. Christmas and New Year’s are connected by a work week where nothing gets done. The boss arrives with the rest of the crew. Twenty or thirty minutes later, the Big Cheese says, “I’ve got to run out for a couple of minutes.” And if you’re lucky that manager won’t resurface until next year. It’s a kick back week.

Origami is practiced in earnest, photographed and posted online…under a pseudonym. Paper airplane contests are organized at impromptu parties. And this is serious stuff. It is considered bad form to have your less-than-aerodynamic entry land in the punchbowl.

Not everyone has this chance for unbridled joy.  There are people out there who do not work for a large company where you can spend the day in a meeting and get nothing done. Some folks work in small businesses where the festival of Sloth is not celebrated. Yes, believe it or not, small business owners want their employees to do the work they are paid to do. If this is your lot in life, you have my sympathies. You may find yourself working right up until closing time on New Year’s Eve. You don’t like it, but you do it because you want to work. Scratch that. You don’t want to work but you like eating regularly. Such is life. Still, it’s a short week and New Year’s Eve is right around the corner.

Yes, another year is coming to an end. And that’s okay because you’ve already sucked down several glasses of champagne. And, even though you have to go to work next week and get something done, you’re feeling hopeful for the year ahead. 2016 is going to be the year when you get all that important stuff done. That’s the bubbles in the champagne talking, but you don’t care. The overpaid TV hosts are counting down the last twenty seconds. You can believe anything right now. A big stupid smile is plastered across your face.

Three, two , one…

Happy New Year!


The Year’s Last Gasp
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