News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Liz Ciancone

January 3, 2012

LIZ CIANCONE: She’s all for spacing out those holidays

That swooshing sound you heard may not have been the wind. It was me! I was breathing a sigh of relief that the holidays are over until the next time.

I am really looking forward to the post-holiday doldrums and wish there was some way we could better space holidays through the calendar year. From now until Easter — on April 8 in 2012 — there won’t be much going on. Oh, there will be official three-day holidays on Presidents’ Day and on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. And, in cities with a large population of descendants of Irish immigrants there will be parades in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. But, it’s pretty much a coast until Easter and the next feeding frenzy.

I’ve decided that the problem with the holiday season is that it all happens in less than six weeks. Christmas decorations were appearing shortly after Labor Day, but only as a warning to save your shopping money for a splurge.

Halloween gets more than a nod these days. Lawns are decorated with blow-up plastic ghosts and pumpkins — I even saw a plastic hearse last year — and there are real pumpkins on porches and smashed on sidewalks. But it’s brief and we are hustled back to Christmas. Thanksgiving is all but lost while we are reminded to dig deep and fight for bargains on “Black Friday.” For those who don’t have sharp elbows, merchants were touting “Cyber Monday” for on-line shopping this year.

I fear the only way out of this crowded season of celebration is to move Thanksgiving. It won’t be popular. Years ago, Franklin Roosevelt decided to move Thanksgiving up a week to the third Thursday in November. The merchants were recovering from the Depression and FDR wanted to give them a longer Christmas sales season. The howls of protest may still be audible.

But, it makes sense. Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day to be thankful for the largess of the harvest which provides food for the winter. The English still celebrate what they call a “harvest festival” much closer to the actual harvest than the late November of our celebration. English churches are decorated with the food and flowers of English gardens in September. It makes sense to me. It should make sense to merchants, too — a longer Christmas sale season and much less risky weather for travel to celebrate and feast with family and loved ones.

I finished ironing the Christmas table cloth and napkins and won’t even think about it again until Easter. Maybe then I’ll look for a plastic cloth decorated with eggs or bunnies. Or, maybe I’ll be ready to suck it up and have at it again.

Even if I am a sore head about too many holidays too close together, I’ll have three months to get over it.

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star education reporter. Her column has appeared on this page for more than 25 years. Send e-mail to

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Liz Ciancone
Latest News Poll
AP Video
World's Tallest Water Slide: See It for Yourself Four Kids, Two Adults Shot Dead Near Houston Kim Kardashian Hits Up Valentino Show in Paris Connecticut Boy Dies Inside Parked Car Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Chimp-attack Victim Lobbies Congress Israeli-Palestinian Tensions, Attacks Escalate Fans Dying to Be Near Jazz Greats Robots Gearing Up for Their Own 'World Cup' Israeli Offensive Escalates in Gaza Attack Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Raw: Obama Shoots Pool in Denver Neighbors Mourn Killing of Texas Family Art of Haitian Machete Fighting Revived Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Service Held for 200 Whose Bodies Went Unclaimed APNewsBreak: Different Attackers in Benghazi? Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Teachers Get Lesson in Interactive Technology
NDN Video
Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel Pilot buys pizzas for travelers delayed by storm Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 'Purrmanently Sad Cat' Looks Adorably Sad All the Time Pharrell 'humbled' by success of mega-hit 'Happy' Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Jennifer Lawrence Facepalms Emma Watson Athletes Bare All for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010