Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The practice of trying new traditions is like opening a gift. At first you're worried it won't fit, only to find out it's perfect. Our family has never had a Thanksgiving pinata. Never. We've broken a few in our day -- at random birthday parties and one other time on the 4th of July -- but we never thought to extend the joy of exploding balls of candy to November for a post feast diversion.
Vacation is new.
Ironically enough the vacation we just had was spent with a large group of people who have been spending Thanksgiving in the mountains TOGETHER for the past 11 years. So basically, I'm pretty sure the only thing new for them, was us. I was so impressed that these families had stayed together, played games together, and enriched their friendships with the tradition of going to the mountains for Thanksgiving for that many years.
Everything they planned was old to them and new to us. We'd never vacationed in our beautiful Colorado mountains during the winter. We'd never gone on a vacation that didn't include our extended family on Thanksgiving. In essence the entire experience was new. We felt like freshmen at orientation. Remember how fun that day is?
On orientation day you feel like you've just stepped out into the sunshine of good fortune. You've arrived with your pencils sharpened, your textbooks neatly covered in Broulim's brown paper grocery bags, no less than 13 spiral notebooks in your backpack, and a kitten TrapperKeeper left over from 8th grade that you're hoping is cool enough. It's a big day.
It was with this same enthusiasm that we packed for our adventure in the mountains. And when on the first night we were introduced to the tradition of breaking open a pinata after Thanksgiving dinner, it was fantastic. (Note to self, pinatas are perfect at any time of year.)
While all these things were new to us I was absolutely transfixed to discover that some of these folks have known each other since freshmen orientation day! I couldn't tell you where any of the people are who I sat next to at freshman orientation day. Actually, thanks to facebook I can, and let me tell you, it ain't pretty. (Note to facebook weirdos, I don't think "status" is about details, I think it's intended for broader announcements. Think BIG picture. Because seriously, I don't care that you ate peanut butter and jelly for a midnight snack and are now thinking about chocolate cake.)