John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Twelfth Month

Posted on December 3, 2012

A very good friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, made this pretty startling statement to me a while ago:  “I hate December.”

When I was a child, I always liked December.

First, my birthday is in December, and as my wife knows, I like my birthday.  I liked it even more before the days where aches and pains were a common occurrence.  I feel my body is becoming a whack-a-mole.  If it isn’t my back acting up, it is my knee.  If not my knee or back, it’s my big toe, and a crick in my neck or a bad cold, or pneumonia.  Etc.

My dad says that getting old “ain’t for sissies.”  But I digress.

I used to like December, because of Christmas.  And at Christmas, I used to get stuff.  A lot of fun stuff.  Some stuff that I asked for, some stuff that I didn’t ask for but really liked, some stuff that I didn’t ask for that I didn’t like, and some stuff that I asked for but didn’t like.

But usually the stuff that I liked overwhelmed the stuff that I didn’t, and all was good in December.

Back when I was growing, we used to get snow in December, and that was always fun.  We would build snow forts and get into snowball fights.  We would go sledding, and back in the days when we really had a winter, we would go ice skating on the frozen rivers.

I assume kids still love December, although it seems to me that the month has become much more commercial, even for kids.

For adults, December is becoming less and less fun.

It gets darker earlier, and while it isn’t as cold as it once was, it ain’t warm either.  As I get older, I just have learned to appreciate the sun more.

December is awfully busy.  Everybody has an office party (well, almost everybody).  Nothing good ever happens at an office party (especially when you are married with children).   There are whole seminars on what you should or shouldn’t do at an office party (don’t get drunk, don’t hit on the boss’s wife, don’t eat too many Christmas cookies, do stay sober etc.)

December isn’t just about attending parties with people who you are already pretty sick of.  It is also about buying presents.  Presents for your ungrateful little kids, presents for you spouse (you better get the right thing), presents for your parents (there is no such thing as the right thing).

All of that shopping and so little clue as to what the right thing is.

I hate it when people ask me what I want for Christmas.  I usually just buy something if I want it.  Surprise me.  Or better yet, don’t get me anything.

You throw in a fiscal cliff and a lame duck session of Congress and that just adds to the craziness.  Nobody knows what Congress will or won’t do.

I can only imagine how annoyed I would be if I were a retiring Member of Congress (or somebody who was retired by the voters) and I had to stick around town to vote on whatever Obama and Boehner (or more likely Boehner and Reid) came up with.

I would tell my leadership that I am voting no on everything.  See you later (unless of course, I wanted to stay in town as a lobbyist, well, then that no vote could back to haunt me).

April is the cruelest month, according to T.S. Eliot.  I don’t think December is necessarily cruel.  It is just not as fun as it used to be.