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Great Scot, it’s the new year already

Getting into the game by Chris Clark

Asking the boss for the first two days of the year off did seem like a gamble, but I figured it was the right thing to do. My Scottish lineage demanded it.

Ever since I received a new calendar and opened it to 2013, the square for January 2nd has been staring me in the face, and laughing. It said, in plain print, that the second of day of the year, just like the first, is a holiday.

At least, it is in Scotland.

The United Kingdom sprinkles what are known as bank holidays throughout the year. They operate much like our Victoria Day or May Two-Four break does in Canada, and Scotland likes to plunk its first one on January 2.

Ordinary folk love a break, and the Scottish know that whatever tomfoolery or however many black and tans new year’s eve might bring, it probably takes two full days to recover. It often does in my case, and this year is no different.

To this end, I feel I must stand up for myself, my clan, and my heritage, and demand two days off at the start of the year. The Clarks have been fertilizing Canadian soil almost since the days of bigfoot and Brock, but surely there’s still enough of the old country left in our veins to claim a proper Scottish holiday.

Canada is an enviable melting pot of families and friends, attracting immigrants from throughout the known world. Except the Nepalese. They mostly tend to stay at home, minding the yaks. Our great country supports multiculturalism, and allows everyone the freedom to honour their culture and where they came from.

It seems only fitting, then, for me to pay tribute to my hardworking Scottish forefathers; those brave souls who left the cold wet dirt of the highlands for the cold, and then colder, dirt of the new land. I shall observe this early January holiday for them, not for me.

I’m not going to go overboard and gorge myself on haggis, neeps and tatties; but a wee dram of a good single malt Scotch is certainly in order. It’s far too cold to be wearing a kilt or sending a piper up a hill to play, so my plan is to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the first family holiday of the new year.

And if the boss asks why nothing ever seems to get done on Jan. 2, mention how it is a holiday back home, and you’re feeling a little nostalgic for the misty moors and swells of heather. You miss the jagged firths and bracken plains, homesick for the peaceful rains.

Just don’t be surprised if your employer says you can forget about the job entirely at that point. With any luck, the bagpipes will have drowned out most of that conversation, and you can get back to enjoying your holiday.

Happy new year, plus one.

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