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Just Sayin’: Taking stock of our many holidays

A Times Square-style ball drop is held at

A Times Square-style ball drop is held at noon Dec. 31, 2016, at the Long Island Children's Museum in Garden City. Credit: Barry Sloan

Taking stock of our many holidays

New Year’s Day is associated with binge indulgence and noise. People who have no lover can feel estranged on Valentine’s Day.

Memorial Day is dignified sorrow. Veterans Day extols the sacrifice of one nation’s soldiers. Independence Day is inherently boastful, with spectacular fireworks that mime battlefield explosions. Labor Day is politicized.

There are many religious holidays that are dear to adherents, but all theologies lend themselves to divisiveness.

Holidays that glorify ethnicities and national origins may welcome everybody to join in, but they’re not universally relevant.

Presidents Day honors four dozen people, some monumentally great, others half-baked, and a few quite villainous. They are honored for their job title, not their accomplishments.

There is exotic and whimsical Halloween. It is escapist, deliciously morbid and spurs fun parties, dreadful movies and public service announcements.

Of all the major holidays, Thanksgiving has the least potential for being irksome.

What is the most dreadful and rueful of holidays? We can all come together on that question: Election Day!

Ron Isaac, Fresh Meadows

Thanks for people met by happenstance

As we head toward the joyous but sometimes harried holidays, I think of our first stop as Thanksgiving. It’s a day when we should say thanks for our blessings and for those who bring joy to our lives — even those we meet by happenstance.

I say a very sincere thanks to the wonderful people I met on a cold Thanksgiving night in Hicksville last year. We were all in our cars heading someplace else, but we joined together to help capture a very scared dog roaming the neighborhood that did not know that we were on her side.

With luck, ingenuity and patience, we cornered her behind a car. One loving family took her to a veterinarian, who scanned her and found a chip. We found out her name was Sheba.

She returned home with her owners that evening, and I met some wonderful people in Hicksville.

Lisa Vaccaro, Hicksville