I am not very good at planning or celebrating rituals. I like the idea of them, especially for the kids, but I do not follow through. Macondo Papa and I almost always let our birthdays and anniversaries fizzle away with a clink of wine glasses, a kiss and the intention to do more next time.
I did manage to scoop a spoonful of honey into my kids' mouths on their first day of school (for a sweet year, a bit of appropriation from Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year - but that's okay).
However, my attempt at a Christmas stocking ritual was not so successful, and to this day I am delinquent on following through with some New Year's reflecting.
I have two main problems.
The first is that these dates always seem to creep up on me.
For years I've been saying that I wanted to start my own Passover seder tradition as soon as I was far away from the maddening right-wing seders of my uncle's family in Toronto. A secular, child-centred, age-appropriate, anti-oppression celebration of solidarity and struggle. How cool would that be?
But Passover is next week. I don't have the time to think and read and prepare, and I don't have the time to start talking about it with the Monster, planting seeds and building interest and excitement so that the ritual might mean something.
My second problem is that these dates always seem to happen in bunches.
Starting next week, we will have my inlaws here for a week, and we will celebrate the Monster's 4th birthday, Macondo Papa's 40th, Passover, Easter and my birthday, all in a two-week period. This is what did me in with the whole Christmas, Chanukah, Solstice, New Years and Three Kings Day crunch. And the Monster had wanted to celebrate Kwanzaa too (thanks, Elmo).
So I am going to let Passover go this year, and try again next year. And I will leave Easter to my inlaws, who I'm sure will have an Easter story or two up their sleeves to share with the kids while they're here (which we will then further discuss as needed - I'm not sure if they'll get into resurrection and all that, or what, but some follow-up analysis will probably be required).
That leaves the Monster's 4th birthday and Macondo Papa's 40th. Both are biggies. I'm thinking face-painting, a treasure hunt and a piñata for one of them, and a new book, breakfast-in-bed and a group pasta-making fiesta (with all 3 of our friends) for the other.
Maybe not creating a deep, meaningful sense of tradition, but perhaps at least a little happiness and joy all around?