Living: Main Street District, Dallas, TX
Working: Commonspace, Deep Ellum, Dallas
Laundry: Dallas apartment
This week in laundry Christmas has come and gone.
The morning after Christmas always feels a little strange to me. Because of the meaning put into that morning. The meaning behind the morning before it. And the evening before that. And the month that proceeds these moments.
Christmas holds strong as my favorite holiday. Out of all the holidays that come and go throughout the year, this is the holiday most steeped in tradition. At least for me.
It was always the holiday in which my family invested the most time and effort into decoration.
And into developing rich tradition.
For example, we watch A Muppet Christmas Carol every Christmas eve. This year was no exception.
For many years running we made our own pizzas Christmas eve. Starting with the dough. Each year we refine the process. Improved from the past.
This year, in my parents’ small Dallas apartment, we broke that tradition for the first time. We went across the street. We let the restaurant do the work.
Should I be upset with this break in tradition? A violation of a sacred family rule? Or should I care at all? It all depends upon the importance you chose to put into these actions. It all depends upon the meaning you put behind it.
This year I’m more flexible. Flexibility emerges as a key 2016 theme in my life. It must be to survive living in a new city every one to two weeks. Side by side with that flexibility lives the meaning I place on certain things. On rules. On behaviors. On cultural guidelines. Within my personal life and outside it in the communities I visit.
So I opt to place value this holiday season not in the specific Christmas traditions, like making our own personal pizzas Christmas eve, but in the things within those traditions. Spending time with family. Being goofy. Being creative. And eating lots of food.
And in doing so, I get to experience the traditions of Christmas not my own. Like decorating cookies with my cousin’s family. A tradition usually driven by his mother. A tradition carried on this Christmas. The first Christmas after her passing.
In some small way she continues to live through this family tradition. She holds a presence in the space as the more seasoned cookie decorators reflect upon cutter shapes and icing tips. Yesterday I was lucky enough to be a part of it. And the sugar high that followed.
After two days of traditions, the holiday somehow vanishes. It’s gone until next year. I’m left with a morning load of laundry. And a looming flight out to my client later this afternoon. Though the holiday season isn’t completely over – there’s still new year’s to look forward to – for me my favorite part of this season has closed. And as I pack up my dry clothes, I look forward to a new manifestation next year. Wherever that may be.