Sunday, October 30, 2011

Accidental Traditions?

(Ammon and I with our friend Ashley. We danced with her on a fake stripper pole. I don't want to talk about it...or show you pictures.)

I remember very few Halloween traditions as a child. We all watched "Lady in White," which to this day terrifies me. So much so that I haven't watched it in years. Part of me wonders if I watched it today, if I would be irrevocably underwhelmed. I'm ok with not watching because 1) If it does suck, I don't want to waste the hour and a half and 2) because it's one of my few Halloween traditions, I would prefer to keep the feeling in tact. Everything else surrounding Halloween was done at random. Sometimes, if there was time, we trick or treated. Sometimes, we just stayed home and watched movies. A couple times I don't think we did anything, or at least I don't remember it. There was no real method or ritual. For whatever reason, I still love Halloween even though it was a haphazard holiday.

(This was the hostess with the mostest. She went as bath salts, but don't worry she wasn't actually on bath salts.)

Now that I'm getting older, I am interested in creating some of those traditions. This process has got me thinking, were the rest of my holiday traditions put together accidentally. Did we open Christmas Eve pajamas because my parents wanted to build our sense of anticipation? Or did we open Christmas Eve pajamas because they wanted the ten children to shut up about opening gifts? Since I am towards the tail end of this child train, the idea that this tradition was enacted for either reason is quite possible. I should call and ask my parents. The point is, I don't think it really matters. If our tradition of sleeping in the same room on Christmas Eve arose out of convenience (I'm sure it's easier to make sure ten children are not watching you wrap gifts if they are sleeping in the same area), it doesn't lesson how much I loved that tradition.

(Us with Lindsay and Craig. We just really like them. The costumes help.)

At this point in my adult life I'm starting to make my own traditions. Focusing on Halloween (my second favorite holiday, Thanksgiving being the first), these traditions are purely created out of convenience and habit. Getting dressed in couples' duo costumes and going to a friends party: totally a tradition just because it's happened three years in a row and I had fun each time. It didn't come from some other family tradition of mine or Ammon's. It wasn't a conscious decision made to enliven the spirit of the holiday. But, like I said, it doesn't matter. I've been looking forward to my friend Melissa's Halloween party for weeks. It may have happened by accident, but the Halloween party attendance as a couple tradition has made me enjoy the day that much more.

(This is our friend, Liz. I was trying my hardest to be serious in this picture. But, well, she was a giant chicken. I laughed hysterically every time she spoke and human words came out of that bizarre mask.)

We went as Edward (me) and Jacob (Ammon) from Twilight. We thought it would be funny because teenage girls sport "Team Edward" or "Team Jacob" shirts. Looks like everyone on "Team Edward" AND "Team Jacob" will be disappointed because Edward and Jacob are looking at each other instead of Bella. We started the night with our friends, Linds and Craig, who were gender reversed Frankensteins. Then we headed to Melissa's party. We continued this accidental tradition for the third year running. Granted I was totally inebriated and only remember parts of the night. Don't judge me, I now know not to drink Jim Beam as part of my pre-gaming strategy. I'm sure some of our other holiday traditions will emerge more purposefully. As we head out of Halloween and into the more intensely ritualistic holidays (not going to lie, some Christmas traditions make me annoyed), I look forward to the birth of our traditions. On purpose or accident, the traditions made will be ours. Let's hope some of the new ones aren't as crazy as the Halloween party. My body is angry from last night.

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