Follow Us On:

Useless Holidays

Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 at 8:10 am

My Take

By Mark McGee

It’s February and it’s time for the “useless” holiday season.

Oh, I’m not talking about President’s Day or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day back in January. Those are very important days.

Instead I am looking at Groundhog Day which happened last week, Valentine’s Day which is upon us this week, and St. Patrick’s Day March 17.

The only people who care about whether or not a groundhog sees his shadow are the people of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and the producers of the movie “Groundhog Day.” There are balls and dinners commemorating the day in the tiny town.

Much ado about nothing.

There was more to cheer about this time since Phil did not see his shadow forecasting an early spring. Don’t get too excited though. Since 1887, according to the Groundhog Club, the string of Phils have predicted 108 winter extensions and 21 early springs. The success rate is 39 percent.

As I said, a “useless” holiday.

I’m not involved with anyone in my life romantically this year. I’m sad to be alone, but glad I didn’t have to hustle after flowers, a nice gift of jewelry, and expensive dinner reservations.

Valentine’s Day is one of the toughest holidays of the year as far as I’m concerned to make sure everything goes right. And for those of you who do manage to get it right, you have my lifelong admiration.

Classify this one as useless as well. Somebody please steal Cupid’s bow and shoot him down.

Then we have the all-time champion of useless holidays in St. Patrick’s Day.

Few people know who St. Patrick was and why he is celebrated. Spoiler alert: St. Patrick was a bishop in the fifth century in Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to parts of the country. A Patron Saint of Ireland, it has been written he didn’t wear green.

Just like Groundhog Day some cities really get into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit. In Chicago there are parades and the Chicago River is dyed emerald green.

I’m okay with some of the milkshake concoctions that appear at various fast food places, but I can’t imagine drinking green beer.

To celebrate the life of a saint by consuming copious amounts of beer while wearing a leprechaun hat seems to be a contradiction of the highest degree.

I seldom if ever wear green on this special day. It is an act of omission and not of commission. I simply forget.

Let’s face it. After the holiday frenzy of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve January, February and March are going to be drab, especially due to the weather.

But that doesn’t mean we have to celebrate all these other days just to have something to do. At least March brings the NCAA basketball tournaments and spring training baseball.

Now, as far as I am concerned those are events to be excited about.