What a difference a week makes | VailDaily.com

What a difference a week makes

Take politics, for instance. Republicans are ultra right, mean-spirited, greedy, care little for the welfare of the many, and are hawkish at birth. Meanwhile, Democrats are left-leaning socialists, support the concept of a handout instead of a hand up, are strong proponents of the welfare state, and are weak on defense, right?

However, to someone on a non-stop flight to Honolulu, precipitation of any kind is not a pleasant prospect, especially if they’re outdoor enthusiasts such as beach-walkers or golfers. No wind in Hawaii means poor sailing and little respite from the mid-day heat, and a cloudy day will keep all those beach vendors from selling overpriced tanning lotions.

Dining presents some interesting contrasts. Picture an evening of fine dining at one of the valley’s many fine eateries (you name the restaurant). Imagine a five-course meal replete with appetizers, a before-dinner cocktail, a bottle of French wine and, of course, a sumptuous dessert. Contrast that experience with a meal at the ballpark – eating a hotdog garnished with mustard, onions and relish, then washing it down with a couple of ice cold beers.

Whether as points on the political spectrum, the choice of leisure activity or preferences in dining venues, each was hopefully the right choice at the time for those who made them. However, few events offer the contrast of what we’re in the midst of experiencing this week.

Reflect back if you will to the night before last. Think back to Christmas Eve and try to recapture the feeling of the night. Whether you were with your significant other, your extended family or just a few friends, most of us experienced what I call that special feeling that is uniquely Christmas Eve – a night that has a feel all of its own. The tenor of Christmas Eve is one of peacefulness, warmth, stillness, love and serenity.

Contrast that with the following: indulgence, excess, decadence, extravagance, and debauchery. These words can be readily ascribed to an event that will occur just five days from now, New Year’s Eve.

How do we switch from the “Joy to the World” feeling of Christmas to those $$$$$ per person events that hotels and restaurants across America will feature next Tuesday? I don’t know the answer, but I find the transformation in attitude and behavior remarkable.

Perhaps New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to let off steam. After all, most of us are taking a collective sigh of relief from the frenetic shopping, our kids’ sugar highs, sleep deprivation and our visiting guests who have hopefully enjoyed themselves but will soon board one of those vans on their way to DIA and home.

The coup-de-grace of the holiday season is New Year’s Eve and the excesses it sometimes brings. As the holiday season reaches its crescendo, my wish for the valley is that that we are happy, healthy and prepared for a new year where all things are possible.

Happy New Year!

Butch Mazzuca of Singletree writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at bmazz@centurytel.net

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