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Here comes the second-rate holiday season

Walking in a winter wasteland

We are in it now, my friends. Yank up your thermal long johns and shoplift all the scented candles you can get your hands on because we are now entering the worst of winter. We are collectively tobogganing full-speed ahead into a barren wasteland of dirty snow in which the only things capable of prospering are Abominable Snowmen, clinical depression and Burlington Coat Factories. However, what is perhaps most troubling about this next endless stretch of winter is the shattering, devastating, really and truly horrific absence of any worthwhile holidays.

Although the past months have been an all-you-can-eat buffet of Sugar Plum Fairies and merry magic, nowadays Santa’s elves have moved back home and started Halsey fan blogs from their parents’ basements. Frosty is melting. The reindeer have shin splints. Mrs. Clause left Santa for her emotionally unavailable ex. I don’t know about you, but I’m spiraling into Christmas withdrawal with nothing but second-rate holidays on the horizon.

Granted, you’ve got a couple exceptions in the coming months with historical holidays like Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the mix, but beyond those few, it is slim pickings! Scroll through your calendar and you’ll only find reminders for the most arbitrary festivities you can imagine.

Let’s start with the most recent one — New Year’s Eve. Best case scenario — you spent the night with some friends, drank plenty of water and got to bed at a reasonable hour, waking up well-hydrated, well-rested and ready for 2018. However, it probably didn’t go down like that. You most likely spent the night electric-sliding away from a few smarmy guys who were trying to use the passing of another 365 days as an excuse for locking lips — all to a soundtrack of Diplo remixes and someone simultaneously upchucking and bragging about the internship they just got at a startup in Chelsea.

This maelstrom of liquor, feigned excitement and H&M sequined tops is followed up by Groundhog Day in which convicted felon Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his subterranean hideout to tell us all that we’ll be cold for another few months. Sure, Phil may boast about his meteorology degree, but we all know he didn’t get that from any accredited university. The guy is a fraud. We shouldn’t be celebrating that in front of our children. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — groundhogs are just gerbils who let themselves go after college and have no business making long-term forecast predictions!

Next up, we have Valentine’s Day, which will escape criticism here so I avoid sounding like the jaded best friend in every romantic comedy ever. Valentine’s Day is low-hanging fruit rant-wise, and I can recognize that. Long story short, Feb. 14 is simply a vehicle for the worst people you knew in high school to construct social media shrines to their boyfriend Zac. I’m sure he’s a lovely guy, but what am I supposed to do with the fact that he’s “your rock?” Unless he’s an actual pet rock, I’m out.

Finally, we finish the season off with some Presidents’ Day mattress sales and a lethal dose of the Dropkick Murphys for St. Patty’s Day. That one is a real doozy. Simmer down, Connor — we get it. Your great-grandfather was half-Irish, and you’re an alcoholic.

Only then — when the dirty snow has turned to slush and slowly melted away — can we move on to springtime. In the meantime, I propose everyone try to spice up the season themselves. Start your own holidays. Dedicate a few days in the coming months to things you really care about. Mark them down on your calendar and celebrate with your friends. Just make sure that you always have something to look forward to in these frigid depths of winter, even if you have to make it up yourself. Most importantly, stay warm. Be safe. Keep it jolly.