January. It’s the month we curl up with a cup of tea during dark and frigid winter nights, counting the hours until spring and the pounds we’ve put on over the last two months.
Cheer up. In case you didn’t know it, there are still plenty of reasons to celebrate this month.
Today, January 18th, is Thesaurus Day. What a great opportunity to pay homage to Peter Roget, brilliant inventor of the thesaurus, the handy reference tool which organizes similar meaning words such as indifferent, comatose and apathetic (section 854.13) to help you more eloquently describe the return desk sales clerks you dealt with last week.
Perhaps Thesaurus Day isn’t exciting enough, even though you don’t want to sound rude, discourteous or impolite (section 935.4). No problem. January is also National Hobby Month, a special time to recognize the many hours you’ve spent collecting stamps, building model airplanes, weaving macramé hangings and trading baseball cards, the results of which are currently gathering dust in your basement.
My basement already contains several dusty boxes of fabric paints, scrap booking materials and miscellaneous craft supplies. But I’m always eager to start a new hobby, and recently took some classes to learn the art of jewelry making.
Making jewelry is really loads of fun. Here’s how to do it in ten easy steps:
1. Take a class and feel like an expert.
2. Purchase some beautiful semi-precious gems and other jewelry-making equipment to take home.
3. Artistically organize your beads.
4. Meticulously string your beads onto special jewelry wire.
5. Forget to secure your artistic creation at both ends while you’re still stringing, even after being warned repeatedly during class.
6. Run to answer the phone and – whoops- your beads are bouncing all over the kitchen!
7. Salvage what are left of the beads and find you’re short a slew of tiny “seed” beads.
8. Find some of the missing seed beads when you take your dog out for a bathroom break the next morning.
9. Take a class and feel like an expert.
10. Take your dog to the vet.
I became rather proficient after fifteen or so attempts and several trips back to the store. It was wonderful making jewelry holiday gifts for everybody I knew (except the mailman who might not have appreciated the chandelier-style earrings).
Even though Thesaurus Day is passing and National Hobby Month will end soon, don’t despair. According to a website specializing in obscure holidays, there’s still time to observe the tail end of National Oatmeal month. And next week there’s Penguin Awareness Day and even Squirrel Appreciation Day.
I know what you’re thinking. After Squirrel Appreciation Day, what could possibly follow come February and March?
Fear not. February is National Canned Food Month where you can play “Organize Our Green Giant Vegetables Alphabetically” with your family as the snow falls outside. Then March comes in like a lion, bringing the ever popular National Frozen Food Month. And let’s not forget those heartwarming moments of jubilation celebrating Poultry Day and Waffle Day.
You get the idea. Before you know it, it’s April and you’re out in your backyard enjoying the sunny days and preparing for more widely-recognized occasions.
Like National Welding Month.
That’s about it for your winter celebration update. And if you think this column was particularly senseless, witless or foolish (Roget’s, Section 468.13) it’s simply not my fault.
I wrote this last Saturday. On “Blame Someone Else Day.”