Friday, January 22, 2010

Tradition

     For the last few weeks I've been thinking about how we're wired to expect and to count on all things staying the same.  This is crazy when the only real constant in our lives is change (not pocket change).
     The holidays are over but it's never more evident than when we're asked "What do you do on Christmas Eve?"  Not, what are you doing THIS Christmas Eve?
     A line in the song Have Yourself A Very Merry Christmas is:
Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow. What if the fates don’t allow? Ouch!
     Most of us fear change and are comforted to know “Every
Thanksgiving we go to Aunt Peggy’s and Uncle Tommy’s. Uncle Tommy is the only one who likes pumpkin pie, but we bring it, anyway. It’s tradition.”
     Suppose that Uncle Tommy dies? We’d panic. There’d be lots of
confusion and questions among the Thanksgiving goers. Should we ask Aunt Peggy if she’s going to host it alone or just wait to see if she says something?
     Maybe one of us ought to take over, at least, for this year. Should we still have Pumpkin pie?
     Holidays are all about traditions and these traditions last only as long as life stays the same. Damn. As many have said, death is inconvenient. The dead guy is gone, and he’s not making any more plans, but we’re left to re-arrange our plans...forever.
     But, new traditions begin for happy reasons, too. Babies are born,
children get married and friends move closer. Maybe Uncle Tommy left Aunt Peggy a fortune and now our Thanksgivings are an all expense paid for vacation in the Bahamas.
     In a nutshell, we’ve got to readily adapt new ways and even oddball occasions to celebrate. Our goal ought to be that someday we’ll look back to these days as the good old days.
     It's possible...and it can only be possible if we keep telling ourselves that it is.