The holiday season has always begun for me with Halloween. There was that party when I was dressed as a gypsy and the house was full of kids in costume. The game was to bite an apple hung from a string and I was short with my new front teeth barely breaking through my gums. I didn’t win the prize but years later my high school friends showed up in a variety of costumes and rated my haunted house creation as the best.
Thanksgiving traditions were all about the food and football. I loved it. This year football was not my focus but the game played after our food feast was called, “apples to apples” and it triggered many fond memories for me as well as setting the stage for new traditions in our future family celebrations.
During the preparation stage, of our potluck Thanksgiving dinner this year, I mentioned my intent at holiday activities was to approach them as the potential of being the last one. This isn’t with a morbid fascination but an awareness that life experiences can change. Like when a move from Ohio to New Jersey in 1982 meant the last time I participated in the annual family celebrations was the year before. During the 1980’s I would often contemplate my lack of awareness that the family Thanksgiving tradition I expected to flavor my life was a past experience now, never to be repeated. Every annual ritual is different from the one before.
Again, in 1997 we were planning a family move from New Jersey to Oregon, and the death of a grandmother took us back to Ohio, the holiday celebrations that year took on a new flavor for me. I knew these were the last time we would do these activities in this home, this state. Change was happening for my family. So everything was more vibrant as I savored ever color and aroma.
It’s not easy to travel through a flux of time. This is when the traditions of the past are in conflict with the potentials of the future. I will not blow smoke and say it is easy. But having done it, I can say it is worth it. Consider your experiences of today may be the last time you can celebrate being thankful for what is – as it may become – what was.
Johnny Depp, and his movie director Bruce Robinson, burst into hysterical at the concept that they were going to die.
I’ve often laughed at being alive. It’s fun. Because I’m not dead. There are stories yet to tell…