One of my favorite times of year is just 17 days away.
I celebrate strange holidays.
• Dec. 21 — The winter solstice occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. It is the shortest day of the year and the first day of winter. In northern Alaska there is no daylight. In Canada daylight is between 6 and 8 hours, depending on the location. In Kansas the amount of daylight is about 9 hours and 15 minutes.
Why is this a holiday? The days start getting longer right after this.
• Feb. 2 — According to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, the Christian religious holiday of Candlemas Day has become most commonly associated with the current Groundhog Day. It was a day when Christians would take their candles to the church to have them blessed. This, they felt, would bring blessings to their household for the remaining winter.
In Punxsutawney, Penn., 1886 marked the first time Groundhog Day appeared in the local newspaper.
It is the day Punxsutawney Phil predicts the rest of the winter: six more weeks or an early spring.
Why is this a holiday? Worst case scenario: about the time my next favorite day arrives, six weeks is over.
• March 10 — There is a bill in the Kansas Legislature to end Daylight Savings Time, the beginning of which is one of my favorite days of the year.
“I think they don’t like switching back and forth. That’s the tough spot, going back and forth,” said Rep. Kristey Williams, R-Augusta, in introducing the bill.
But then when would we know to change the batteries in our smoke alarms?
I would like to go back to the day when we had Daylight Savings Time 24/7. The idea back in the 1970s was to save energy.
“I’ve got meetings in Missouri all the time and for me to try to keep that one figured out, that would really be something,” said Sen. John Skubal, R-Overland Park.
Pity the person that lives in Kearny County but works in Syracuse. Or the person that lives in Sherman County but works in Colby. Those places are in two different time zones, regardless of Daylight Savings Time.
One might need Alexa or Siri to help figure that one out.
The bill is in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee chaired by Rep. John Barker, a Republican from right here in Abilene.
He said he didn’t think the bill would go far. Yeah!
Why is this a holiday?
Daylight Savings Time allows an extra hour in the evenings after a day’s work to:
• Practice sports with the kids, well, grandkids these days;
• It does save energy as the U.S. Department of Transportation in 1975 showed that savings is about 1 percent;
• If I were a lake person, which I am not, it would give me more time to swim, lay on the beach or fish;
• I don’t have to Braille-mow the lawn;
• And (drum roll, please) there is time for a round of golf.
What are my summer holidays, one might ask?
That would be any day between Memorial Day and Labor Day.