It doesn't really feel like holiday time to me. It should -- being that today is the Friday after Thanksgiving and many people (though, not me. never in a million...) are shopping. I had a wonderful feast last night that consisted of the usual Thanksgiving food things and took pictures of a mini village (you know, those little porcelain houses that have lights in them and are only seen around the holidays). But, I'm holiday cheerless.

I'm fairly certain that this is because all of the holiday traditions that were prominent in my family have diminished up to a few years ago when they simply became no more. True -- new traditions have developed... but there is the lingering melancholy associated with the loss of the old ones. And, this year, I can't break it.

I'm looking forward to the weekend before Christmas when my brother and his wife come in from New Hampshire, and we have dinner with my dad and his wife at their place 45 minutes from here, and what is left of our old family traditions are resurrected for a time. My family is scattered. And our whole holiday season must be crammed into one short weekend each year. What's also tough is gift-giving. It used to be about thinking up the perfect gift and going on a journey to get it, wrap it, and give it. Now it's about, "I need your list. Where is your list?" This year, I even put stars by items that I definitely want so that the giver won't be distracted by items that I don't want quite as much. It's very commercial. It's very, "I'll just go shopping and buy you stuff you want." It's not, "Here is a very special gift that made me think of you." I hate these lists that I have been given. I feel like I am following a script and just going through the motions of gift-giving. Maybe, I should ask them to make a list of what color wrapping paper they want on each gift... and what color bow... or no bow at all... how will I know if they want a bow if they don't tell me on their list! (sorry -- got carried away)

For some reason -- this year -- I'm also thinking about older traditions. We used to have Thanksgiving dinner at my gramma's house in New Jersey. And we (my brother and I, and sometimes my dad) would play football at the park or in the backyard with my cousins. And we would eat cold turkey sandwiches on Friday and pester the adults because we were incessantly in need of doing something. Now that I'm older, I realize that I'll never play football in the park with my cousins again. Sadness.

Well, this has been depressing... hopefully getting it off my chest will lighten things up for me enough to smile some this holiday season.

Pictures of a holiday village:

Now, here is something interesting. (A student of mine told me that she was going to be having Turduchen on Thanksgiving and I didn't believe her. I owe her an apology.)

(in case you can't tell: it's turkey, duck, and hen... all mixed into one disturbingly thought up creature...)


Many years ago, three Eckerd employees formed a band called the TLPs. They released an album called Compare and Save, which featured the hit song Aisle 12. The band split (one member found "success" as a solo performer). They returned, much later, to the place that provided inspiration for their hit song.

Reunion tour? Doubtful...