What are holiday traditions about for you? I used to think that doing the same old thing every year was what it’s all about. You know, trying to keep up with the Martha Stewart family traditions you see everywhere. But lately, I’ve found that I need to throw something exciting, fun, or different into the mix. Preferably all three. This year, I managed to do just that.
It started with shopping on Thanksgiving Eve in our neighboring town of Issaquah. I’m sure you’re all sick of me rattling on about this but it was exciting! I saw the lead singer of Train, Patrick Monahan, shopping at PCC with his little family.
Then Thanksgiving we did the movie watching – Arthur Christmas, and the turkey cooking followed by over eating. Same-o, same-o, yet fun, you know? But this year, I couldn’t leave it there. I had to try something new. So I joined a little group of friends for something different: Black Friday shopping. I had lots of doubts about this new adventure. I almost texted one of my friends at least once saying, “No thanks, never mind.”
But then I couldn’t sleep. And I couldn’t sleep. So I got off my tired butt and joined that motley crowd down in Tukwila, where we spent four solid hours of deal shopping. I’m really not much of a shopper, though I’ll be honest, I buy most of my things on clearance or sale so I am thrifty. Just not crazy. And oddly enough? Not many of the people out shopping that night were crazy, either.
It did feel like a different planet though. As I drove down the freeway at one thirty in the morning in the dark, when it was almost as busy as one in the afternoon. Then I went into a store where there were many, many, groggy, red eyed people who shopped while their kids were asleep in strollers in front of them, or alternately passed out on the displays. Seriously surreal.
The part that got me the most was at one point, we were at the mall. I was tired, waiting for two of my friends to finish in a store. I was sitting in front of the store, on the floor, watching tons of teenage girls walk by. They were wearing hoochy mamma clothes complete with whore makeup, trying to emanate what they see in the magazines. When sitting next to me was my friends niece, a sweet kid who likes Justin Bieber and is a fashion model and student by trade (see her in December’s Glamour!) At that moment she was dressed in Hello Kitty Keds, pencil jeans and basically, comfortable clothing with a frantic looking pony tail. Yes, her makeup was tasteful, her skin creamy. And if you looked very carefully beneath her large black glasses, you could see the model within. But you know, honestly? She just looked like herself. “Normal” even. It was just a lesson in irony I guess. We all think that what we see in the magazines is reality, when reality is what we see in the mirror. If only those teenager girls who walked by knew that.
For me, the reality of traditions have always been fluid, ever evolving. That was the way I was raised, whether my mom realized it or not. For years it has haunted me, that I wasn’t normal. That our family didn’t look like those that are portrayed in the magazines. But I guess me doing something different every year is really part of my own personal tradition. And as luck would have it, I managed to do something exciting, fun, and different this holiday.
Love to hear your stories :-).