I love calendars and have many, but not the new-fangled phone kind. They’re absolutely NO fun. I like the good old paper ones, with pictures for each month. I even have vivid calendar memories from “way back when.”
I’ll bet 90% of our young people have NO IDEA why they sometimes see a picture of a lion and lamb on a March calendar. Remember how we were told that March “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”?
They also probably think those flowers they see on the April page are because some spring flowers grow then, but they’d be only partially right. The saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” Bygone calendars had drawings of little kids wearing galoshes and slickers, with open umbrellas.
Or how about why we see cherries in February? We learned that as a boy, George Washington, whose birthday we celebrate that month, chopped down a cherry tree on his father’s land. When his angry dad asked him, George said, “I chopped down the tree. I cannot tell a lie.” Good thing he didn’t want to get elected today . . . .
January calendars often showed a picture of a baby and an old Man with a beard, a clock and a scythe, (Father Time) symbolizing the old and new years. In fact, this may have been the basis for the old-time custom of giving free merchandise to the first baby born after the new year. The kid (and his or her parents!) got great possible perks: free diaper service for a year, a snazzy crib, enough clothes to be a baby model, and a year’s supply of Gerber baby food, all from local merchants. Soaring prices and competition took care of that custom.
Nowadays there are specialty calendars which have nothing to do with these folk tales. Instead, their pictures cater to the buyers’ interests: puppies, tropical sunsets, inspirational sayings, birds, Bible quotes or mouth-watering sweets. I admit I went with the trend, buying a New York Times Crossword Puzzle-a-Day calendar, among others, and am currently on September 17, 2020. Ok, so I’m a little behind, but I AM making progress. Having the answers on the puzzle back helps me feel less stupid, even though I plan to cheat on only one long entry to “get myself started.” You know the end of that story.
I must go now and check my Old School calendar for the upcoming week. Cue Neil Sedaka.