New Year's Eve danger on the road gives way to New Year hope WEST COLUMBIA


December 30, 1992|By LARRY STUGILL

Holidays are creations of man. Many, like Easter, Hanukkah and Christmas, are religious in nature. Others offer tribute to presidents, such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, or to select individuals, like Martin Luther King or Columbus, whose deeds lifted them to such recognition, or to the memory of our nation's warriors, whom we honor on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

But, unlike most other holidays, New Year's is a celebration of hope. It sates our desire, perhaps our need, for a chance at a new beginning, although most New Year's resolutions are quickly broken and forgotten. Still, our often raucous send off to the start of a new year carries with it the hopes of better things to come.

Isn't it ironic that within a period of eight days, we move from the most joyous holiday, Christmas, to the most dangerous, New Year's, or more specifically, New Year's Eve?

In this age of enlightenment and of growing awareness of the dangers of alcohol, and in spite of designated drivers and sobriety checkpoints, the highway carnage caused by alcohol abuse continues unabated.

My job with The Sun entails other duties beside writing this column. One of those less pleasurable tasks is the taking of classified death notices. Knowing the inevitable, I will dread going to work on Jan. 2 because some of those death notices will begin with the words: "Suddenly, on Jan. 1, 1993, . . ."

Please celebrate New Year's Eve sensibly and soberly, and live to enjoy the hope of the new year.

Have you ever wondered why those responsible for scheduling holidays placed two of the biggest so close together? What was the purpose of their madness? Other holidays are singular events, spaced somewhat evenly throughout the year. Easter is celebrated as winter gives way to spring. Memorial Day is

at the height of spring's colorful bloom. Independence Day explodes as the heat of summer takes over. Labor Day slides in as cool evenings offer the first hint of fall. And the feast of Thanksgiving ends as the days grow shorter in the waning days of autumn.

In winter, though, we are confronted with two big holidays only a few days apart. Celebrating Christmas in December is fine. In fact, I can't imagine Christmas without the glitter of decorations on a tree, and for those of us who live in Howard County, the annual prayers for snow and a white Christmas.

As for New Year's Day? It's out of place and I think we ought to move it. Wouldn't celebrating the start of a new year during the warm, dog days of August -- the only month without a holiday by the way -- be much more enjoyable?

* Want your child to become an actor or actress? Or perhaps a star? With a little talent, and a lot of luck, anything is possible.

Most parents have such hopes for their children at one time or another, but for whatever reason, few take the steps necessary to start them on their way.

The opportunity to take that first step will be offered in two workshops by Pam Land at Slayton House in Wilde Lake Village Center.

The first is a Creative Dramatics Workshop for students in grades three to five.

Aspiring actors and actresses will learn the basic techniques of acting and improvisation. Two five-week sessions will be offered on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Session I runs Jan. 9 to Feb. 6. Session II runs Feb. 13 to March 13. The cost is $50 per session.

The second is a Musical Theatre Workshop for students in grade six and up. Here is the chance for future Broadway stars to learn drama, dance, vocal performance and other basic theater skills.

This is a 10-week course and will begin on Jan. 9, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The cost is $125 per person.

Call 730-3987 for additional information or workshop registration.

* More of Sharon Sirkis' popular "Have Black Belt/Will Travel" self-protection seminars for women will be offered on Jan. 9 and Jan. 16, from 10 a.m. to noon, at Linden Hall in Dorsey Search Village Center.

Ms. Sirkis' seminars offer a new approach to self-protection and are designed to give women an awareness of potentially threatening situations and the basic tools they need to protect themselves.

The fee is $45 per person and enrollment is limited. It should be noted that in the past, Ms. Sirkis' seminars have filled up rapidly. So, if you are interested, don't procrastinate. The registration deadline is Jan. 8.

Call 730-4005 for additional information.

* May the year ahead be filled with love and happiness, and be bountiful for all. Happy New Year!

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