A favorite holiday for shoppers, Presidents Day is the last chance for retailers to unload less than popular winter merchandise before restocking for spring. The only aim is to clear the shelves so stores offer rock bottom prices in order to cut their losses. It is an effective strategy since lots of people in February have cabin fever and are ready for some semi-serious recreational shopping.
It is not certain how Presidents Lincoln and Washington, whose birthdays were fused in order to form one legal holiday, would have felt about those bargains named in their honor. Washington endured cold, wintry battlefields probably wishing he had a new, warm coat or boots. Lincoln would have understood the shopping fever: historians say that his wife, Mary Todd, was a shopaholic. Any tribute is better than no tribute.
Back at the home hearth, especially in snowy regions, Presidents Day is a fun break from the monotony after Christmas. It’s a great time to get some extra mileage out of red decorating items or paper party goods. Young children who are getting their first exposure to early American History lessons find reinforcement of those schoolroom lectures when the holiday is celebrated at home.
A cherry pie is a traditional reminder of the Washington chopping down the cherry tree story–even if the validity of said story is under current scrutiny. Gold wrapped chocolate candies could allude to both the story about tossing the coin across the Potomac River and the fact that Presidential profiles end up on currency much of the time.
Yankee pot roast or Boston baked beans with brown bread are fitting fare for such an historic menu. Pewter plates or tankards can hold paper napkins or plastic flatware. A red gingham tablecloth and wooden bowls and implements complete the humble theme.