Monday, November 30, 2009

Where's Zero Mostel When You Need Him?

Here we are at the end of another successful NaBloPoMo. I had one close call that Zelda got me through. I'd set the post up to go automatically and for reasons that remain unclear it did not post. This is why community is important, folks.

The whole endeavor is enormous now. I don't feel I participated in the larger community as much as I might have. I could cite the busy or the holiday or the fact that I normally write all 30 days anyway. I would be remiss, though, if I didn't mention that my one attempt at venturing out was met with a frosty, frosty smackdown. No excuse, I could have tried harder. I would like, next time, to do so if for no other reason (and there are plenty) than to honor Eden Kennedy's successful creation of a beloved tradition.

I am a sucker for tradition. I love it. I like knowing exactly how things will go and what I should bring. Small tweaks (all hail veganizing!) are good, huge changes are bad (boo change!). I get that tradition can't last forever. I get that some people hate traditions, or hate their family's traditions, and I hear you. I just don't agree. Did I love driving miles in the snow late on Christmas Eve and having to take a no thank you helping of carnip (don't ask) at dinner the next day? No. But I hate that it's not an option anymore.

Creating traditions is hard. I've tried. Especially as an only child of divorced parents who has remained single and child free, trying to get other folks to jump on my bandwagon is sysiphean in scope. I have met with...varied success. It is success nonetheless.

On Thursday I met up with a Canadian-American friend and we walked around delivering meals and admiring architecture and searching for post-parade sights. It is, for me, the perfect way to spend that day. I had other places to go later in the day and I was grateful for that new experience, too, but when my friend told me (as she does every year) "I want to do this forever" I can't tell you how important that was for me to hear.

Friday brought my annual Open House. I cooked and cooked and cooked - which you've heard all about - and people came and ate and ate and ate. Some years are more successful than others here. I've had years when almost no one has come and then years like this one where we ran out of bubbly and had to send out for reinforcements. What I'm learning, though, is that I'm grateful for the fact of it no matter who shows up. Setting the time aside, having the food and spending time with my people, however many of them are available, is what makes it a tradition for me. And, not for nothing, more than one of this year's attendees made sure to tell me that they counted it as a tradition for them as well.

So today, as we say goodbye to another NaBloPoMo, I salute traditions, the large and the small. What's your favorite one?


  1. The Christmas trees of my youth were always a tradition in the assembly; everything went a certain way, and certain decorations had to be put in certain places. You know the kind of decoration I mean; the ones you made as a small child, out of paper, that still manages an explaination in your late teens. Getting up early in the morning to turn on the lights, just to see them in the dark.

  2. I love all the traditions we have at Christmas and still do the ones that I did as a child: a scavenger hunt for a present, reading "The Night Before Christmas," wrapping presents like little works of art, sleeping over at my mother's on Christmas Eve, stocking stuffers, etc.

  3. He's in midtown apparently: