What saves winter?


by Frances Edstrom

I don't think it's any coincidence that we celebrate winter holidays as vigorously as we do. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's Eve aren't exactly the most meaningful of holidays. Certainly Christmas and Hanukkah are not as significant as other holy days in their religions. The Fourth of July must be more important than Thanksgiving (and less politically incorrect) in the formation of the United States. New Year's is really just another day like all the other days, only meaningful because of humans' obsession with organization.

Take a look at the other winter holidays. You think Thomas Jefferson would have had his birthday celebrated like Washington and Lincoln? Not a chance. He was born in April, when we're too busy ordering seeds to take time off to celebrate some guy's birthday. If we hadn't decided on Martin Luther King's birthday (actual date January 15) as a national celebration, you can bet it wouldn't have been Jesse Owens (Sept. 12) or George Washington Carver (July 12) who'd have gotten the honor. St. Patrick will always have an edge over say, Mother Teresa (August 26) when it comes to celebrations, even given that Mother Teresa Day does not sound like the kind of day that would prompt people to have parades and search out designated drivers.

Not to say that the achievements of those Americans and others whose birthdays we do celebrate aren't significant, but being born in the winter doldrums definitely gives a guy a leg up.

I'm not complaining! Anything to pass the long, dark, cold days sounds good to me. Bring ‘em on.

And bring on the Girl Scout cookies, another perennial winter favorite. Thin Mints"yum. Samoas"no trans fats. Do-Si-Dos"hey, oatmeal is good for you! Tagalongs"who invented peanut butter? Trefoils"I used to think of this as the diet cookie until this year, when they are offering new sugar-free Chocolate Chips. Two more new ones, Lemon Chalet Cremes and All Abouts round out the mother of all cookie sales.

I loved being a Girl Scout even before I figured out the advantage Scouts have over other girls when it comes to the cookie sale. Sure, you have to sell them and deliver them and take care of the money. But let's face it, who do you sell the most to? Your family, both nuclear and extended. No matter where you go for months after the sale, there's a good chance there's a box of Girl Scout cookies just waiting to be eaten.

My sister didn't get into the cookie selling part of Girl Scouts, but she really liked the cookies, so she saved up her baby-sitting money to buy the cookies from herself. Hey, whatever it takes.

My daughter Morgan really got into the selling aspect, but unfortunately back then she had a little disconnect on the follow-through, and lost the list of people she sold to. So when the cookies were delivered, our house looked like the loading dock at Watkins, and we had no idea who ordered what. Finally, we went door to door to the neighbors she thought had ordered cookies, ‘fessed up and let them choose what they remembered ordering. No one was mad, so it must have worked. The next year, I took the order sheet and made copies at the office for myself.

Did I make you hungry? Sales start January 19 and go through March 30. Direct sales start at cookie booths on February 29. If no Girl Scout comes around with the order blank, call 1-800-845-0787 or go e-mail cookies@girlscoutsrv.org.


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