Restarting holidays


Image courtesy of Ewan Munro. Licensed under CC BY SA.

It’s been a weird year for holidays. My mom dying hastened a process that, I think, happens in a lot of families—once the current crop of kids in the family grow to adulthood, there’s a lull in holiday celebrations until the now-adult children begin to have kids of their own.

A quiet July Fourth bled into a quiet Christmas, which turned into a quiet New Year’s and Valentine’s Day and birthday (Thanksgiving, since it involves food, remained more or less untouched). It’s been fine, but not ideal—I like holidays, I like tradition, I like a socially-sanctioned occasion to have parties and wear fancy shoes and eat tiny foods.

As has been mentioned before, my youthful religious upbringing was spotty at best: I’m nominally Jewish, but grew up celebrating non-religious Christmas and Easter with one half of the family, with religious (but confusing) Hanukkah at Thanksgiving with the other half. I didn’t do seders as a child, but attended a college where religious life is a Thing. It didn’t matter that I’m an atheist—I spent college attending Passover seders and Holi color fights on the quad and Lessons and Carols performances at Christmas. I enjoyed it all. Continue reading