Why is this one so difficult? All month I have discussed various things for which I am thankful, but this one is not coming easy.
I’ll blame it on the year, because this crazy, messed up year is really taking a bad toll on our traditions. One of the things it tried, but found out was not a good idea, was trying to take away some of the “specials” that come on television every year at this time. Programs that we grew up with, the ones that had as sitting in front of the television enthralled. It doesn’t matter our age now, we still have to sit and watch the animated, holiday programming. Snoopy, Rudolf, Frosty and Santa have been welcomed into our homes for decades, there was no way we were going to sit idly by and allow any of them to be prevented from coming into our homes. This year especially do we need the warm, fuzzy feelings that come with these programs. As adults, the visit to our youth, as children the enjoyment of a visit from special or new, friends.
It isn’t just the animated shows, there are movies that make this time of year that much more special. When the Clarence helps George Bailey understand and George helps Clarence earn his wings, it is a wonderful life. A magical train ride that takes us to the North Pole and Santa’s shop where a child’s belief is restored. The animated is good, the life version good of how a Dr. Seuss character discovered that maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Each of us have our favorite, each have a program, movie, music that touches us right in the feels this time of year.
Yes, I did say music. Those songs that get stuck in your head and have you smiling for a while.
Up until this year, it has always been our tradition to experience each holiday, let it have its time and then move on to the next. The Christmas Tree wasn’t even brought out of storage until after Thanksgiving Dinner was over and family had gone home. This year though, all rules have changed as there are no rules. We need to be cheered up, distracted, so enjoy and celebrate as you are able. Our tree and outside lights have been up for weeks now.
But it isn’t just Christmas that has traditions. Each holiday has those things about them that make them special and memorable.
Halloween has its own brand of movies, from the quirky to the blood baths. Most of these I avoid as with a vivid imagination, the horror movies tend to haunt me in many ways for too long.
Those meals. Oh those meals. With us it is the turkey and ham, the real mac and cheese and yams and potato salad and so much more and so many deserts, that it is difficult to move. When you are enjoying the meal and the camaraderie of family intensely but are glad this doesn’t happen but twice a year.
Every year, we celebrate the birth of our nation. Remembering when the United States became independent. There are parades, trips to our favorite vacation spot, fireworks, cookouts. Some dress in red, white and blue and some wear silly hats. We remember those forefathers who fought so hard to create a special place.
Speaking of birthdays, every year our individual birthdays are acknowledged. Cake is traditional, a gift or card given to wish the one celebrating another year happiness.
Anniversaries are the same.
Whether it is for a married couple, a work anniversary or the anniversary of a special event. It is a remembrance.
Homecoming at church. When you remember the anniversary of the church’s beginning and gather together. Those who may no longer attend currently welcomed for a dinner on the grounds. Except this year. Still, that doesn’t stop the acknowledgment and the love.
Every sport and sport enthusiast have their own, begin the season, traditions. Whether it is getting the gear needed out of storage, preparing for tailgate season, or stocking up on game date treats. Some have their favorite jersey that may or may not be washed. Some may have certain rituals they go through before the season or before each game begins.
But what about me, personally?
Is there a particular tradition that I am thankful for more than any other? I could say its when I put away the winter wear and bring out the warm weather dress. I could say it is the official Open Window season after Winter has ended. The planting of the first flower. But no, my favorite, is when my family gathers together to enjoy a meal both at Thanksgiving and Christmas. When we are in one place, enjoying the company of each other and sharing moments that are fleeting.
This year, it will be more special than ever. This year, we will take precautions, we will most likely not hug or stand too close. Our gathering will be more outside than in, weather permitting. We are all separate family units, but we are also one by blood. Gathering together at this time of year, is not only something I am thankful for, but something we need, even and especially, if it is done safely.
But what about you? Is there one, or more that you are reminded of for which you are thankful?