Now that the holidays have come and gone, leaving us fulfilled and even more exhausted, we carry on into another year with bells on. Starting off with a clean slate during the new year's potentially most uneventful month, we take some time to reboot our systems and jumpstart our engines in order to make this year better than years past. With no further anticipation, here are the 10 best things about January we suggest you keep an eye out for along the long road of holiday recovery.
No. 10 - Holiday Hassles are Over
All the traveling, unwanted consuming and overwhelming family time can finally come to a screeching halt. The fact that your Aunt Marie is a certifiable lunatic is no longer relevant, as you are free and clear to resume your regularly scheduled programming.
The holidays take up much of our time and energy, as well as add a few days of jet lag and out-of-the-ordinary activities we wouldn't otherwise partake in. With January, we have a chance to get back on track, catch up on all the blogging and re-grease the gears of a once finely tuned machine that is our bodies.
Although we love a good caroling jam session and handfuls of richly-baked chocolate covered chocolates as much as the next guy, it's time you relax as your life becomes instantly more boring, yet refreshing, this month.
No. 9 - Christmas Tree Burnings
There's nothing as simultaneously dangerous and awe-inspiringly beautiful as a good tree burning party. What used to be a classless gesture of pulling your Christmas tree by its short and pricklies and tossing it into the gutter is now a festive post-holiday holiday.
The locals round up all the neighborhood trees left sadly alone for the trash man and deposit them in a monstrous pile of fresh pine-smelling fun. Once that puppy is stacked a couple dozen trees high and set ablaze, you and your neighbors can dance like peyote-tripping natives around its incredible flame and kiss the holidays a fond farewell. Expect a very potent, long-lasting pine air freshener, along with the fire department showing up shortly after.
No. 8 - Unattainable Resolutions and Commitments
What would January be without a staggering number of failed commitments and potential lies of upholding good behavior in the name of a better you? As New Year's Day rolls by, make a list of resolutions you'd like to see happen, then get realistic as to which ones are actually attainable.
If you want to actually succeed, don't call it a "resolution," but instead a promise to change, then make some unlucky sucker hold you accountable for your actions over a case of beer. Resolutions don't have to take place in January alone, but it seems appropriate with a fresh new start. If you're not into resolutions, continue your life of disarray and watch for others as they ditch their resolutions like a good habit, typically around January 17th.
No. 7 - A Fresh, Clean Slate
The biggest gift we typically get from the year before is the long list of mistakes, and with every January we get to tear it up and start fresh with a clean slate, perfect for recording our future mistakes of the ensuing 12 months.
The trick here is to not repeat the mistakes from previous years' slates, but instead make some new ones. Life is all about taking on adventure, which is always fraught with a few messes along the way. This is not to say we shouldn't be adventurous or be afraid to make mistakes. How else would we learn anything and have great stories to tell later if we were so cautious? This year, make a conscious effort to fly outside of your comfort zone and dare to live life leaning on the wild side. There are no fast motorcycles or fast women required, just a willingness to learn something new about yourself -- and maybe a motorcycle, too.
No. 6 - National Male Watcher's Day (January 8)
If you happen to see a young girl, middle-aged gal or elderly eye giving you the look, it's because, like guys on almost everyday, women have a holiday to return the inappropriateness this month known as Man Watcher's Day.
Yes, the horrible things we do to women in the names of love and lust: the gawking, stalking and sniffing of the underpants, it's all fair game for the fairer sex on this magnificently awkward day. Expect every construction worker to truly appreciate his job once the tables are turned.
However unheard of, this quid pro quo holiday just might catch on and could very well be the savior of every lonesome, horny fellow. There’s also the chance it could blow up in their faces when the day fails to teach us a lesson or manners of any kind. Stand by, gentlemen, this boat's about to start a’rockin’.
No. 5 - National Bubble Bath Day (January 8)
If getting ocularly molested by women on Male Watcher’s Day wasn’t enough to float your boat, January 8 also happens to be National Bubble Bath Day.
Now, we know what you’re thinking. What kind of grown man wants to soak in a puddle of his own filth, let alone be surrounded by a sea of emasculating bubbles? You may not know it yet, but you could very well be that kind of grown man.
However feminine it may seem, the bubble bath has been a sacred ritual amongst the human populace for decades, one which releases all the tension and anxieties of everyday strife into a frothy tub full of joy, and hopefully little green toy soldiers. So bust out the nostalgia and childhood action figures because Mr. Ducky just found himself a swimming partner. You may or may not want to use the buddy system, but to avoid embarrassment and risk ruining the point of the exercise, try it solo first.
No. 4 - National Nothing Day (January 16)
So you are probably learning that January is full of strange national "holidays." It’s hard to say which is better between Milk Day, National Pharmacist Day, Dress Up Your Pet Day and National Handwriting Day, so we went with National Nothing Day.
If there were ever a "Seinfeld"-esque holiday, this would be the one, celebrating nothing and doing nothing in general. However conflicting a feeling it may bring you, it’s nice sometimes to just do, think and honor nothing.
If that doesn’t work, you could always try celebrating the other days by drinking some milk, picking up some pills at your pharmacy, dressing your dog like a freak of nature and then writing about it. It’ll make for a perfectly late holiday card, but just early enough to get you into the nuthouse at a New Year’s discount, but we wouldn’t recommend starting the year that way.
No. 3 - Tax Returns
It’s time to pack a bag with two plain white tees and a wad of cash to blow in Vegas because it’s that time of the year again, when we get back all that money we complain about giving away to the government so we can waste it on nothing and fail to remember it all.
Most folks think of April as the tax return month, but those people are likely just the procrastinating bunch who may or may not owe the government their favorite toys. The reality is that, if you care to, you can have your tax return as early as at the end of January, which leaves plenty of time to go to Sin City for its never-ending ride of highly overpriced food, lodging and dancing girls.
If you've never been to Vegas, watch your step, as the city has a reputation for stealing your soul and probably your pants too. Expect to lose it all and then some.
No. 2 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 21)
Without going into a history lesson, MLK, Jr. was a great man, activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He lives on as a national icon who has inspired millions and helped mold our country into what it is today in terms of progressivism. So, we Americans honor him once a year in January. If you happen to get the day off of work as a result, that is just an added bonus.