Which is your favorite holiday? Today is a holiday that has seen a tremendous shift in meaning since it originated, and the coming months will bring other huge holidays that tend to be high on the list of favorites. Holidays are a great time to lift ourselves from our routine, celebrate family and friends, and connect with the past. And usually participate in the economy.
I haven’t put out a single decoration this year, though I have a sizable collection of Halloween dust catchers which have accumulated over the years of raising my boys. There are the tall, slim figurines that I bought in a kit and painted myself. And a hollowed out gourd, made into a ghost, that I bought on an afternoon spent in a quaint town with my mom and sister. The scarecrow made from a softball by a fellow mom who was trying to impress the other homeroom moms with her creativity. And plenty of other things, most of which have a memory or two attached.
One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. Because it is quieter and except for food hard to exploit with merchandise. Even though my dad and I would regularly lament that it was difficult to find Thanksgiving decorations. Now I have his and mine – mostly Pilgrim and turkey themed. I love that the focus is around family and friends gathering to share a meal and think about gratitude. (We won’t think about the fact that shopping for Christmas is encroaching upon this more serene holiday.)
I know plenty of people whose favorite holiday is this feast of Trick or Treat. I know others who refuse to partake in the fun for religious reasons. (To them I’d like to point out that Halloween is a contraction for All Hollow’s Eve, which is the precursor for All Saint’s Day November 1st – and a day for religious observance. And was timed to counter a pagan ritual observing harvest and the coming of winter. The Monsignor at my old church used to hold a great Halloween party for the families.)
We need these holidays to brighten up our days as the natural light grows scarcer this time of year. Colorful décor, strings of lights, cheerful greetings for those known and not known – may all of our next few months be enjoyable – full of food, baubles and hoopla.
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