I don’t have a favorite holiday. They’re all good, particularly if they include a day or two off from work. As I’ve matured the excitement of approaching holidays has waned and over the past few years, they’ve become just another day.
When I was younger, I was always enthusiastic over upcoming holidays. That’s normal, right? Even as I grew older and had kids of my own, I still looked forward to basking in their anticipation.
Now they’re grown and married. Sometimes they spend those special days with me, but they have in-laws to visit, and we all live in different states, or they add the extra days to their vacation time and take a trip. We’ll get together on an alternate date, which is fine. Part of my blah attitude toward special celebrations stems from what they once were, to what they are now.
My dad loved to host a party. It didn’t matter the occasion, he loved to celebrate. Usually, his festivities involved tons of food, alcohol, and people, mostly relatives. I’m talking both of my parent’s kinfolks, grandparents, great aunts and uncles, aunts and uncles, cousins, second cousins. No one was excluded and everybody came, because everyone was welcome, even if they just walked in off the street.
The merriment may last until the wee hours of the night, and on into the next day. Many times, visitors stayed overnight because they couldn’t drive home. Once everyone was clear headed, they’d pick up where they left off the night before.
Even though I was just a kid, and I viewed the spectacles from the sidelines, I could always count on these events to be loud, entertaining, and quite often, over the top. There was lots of laughter, an argument or two, usually in fun, and yes, we experienced an occasional “almost” fist fight. No worries. Within minutes, everyone calmed and they’d returned to perform their jolly antics.
But life happens and all things must come to the proverbial end. Family members passed on and the crowd dwindled. Youngsters grew up, married, had kids of their own, and wanted to start their own family traditions. The guest list shrunk more. Others aged and could no longer pull all nighters.
Toward the end of my dad’s life, hardly anyone came to my parents home for holidays. If they did show, they ate, then they left. By the time my father died, there were no more family get togethers.
I remember being sad the first time we stayed home at Christmas. My sadness was generated from the fact so many were gone and how we our close knit family had grown apart.
Thankfully, our current celebration mode is shifting back to togetherness. My cousin’s daughter and her family has began hosting holidays. They including the entire family. We’re seeing each other more often, we’re communicating. We’re becoming acquainted again, this time as adults. We’re getting to know each other’s children and meeting their children, it’s wonderful.
The parties aren’t wild like in the old days, but that’s fine by us. We prefer to spend time reminiscing and laughing about those characters who left us with so many crazy memories as opposed to reliving them.