When I was a kid growing up in Dallas, we spent Thanksgivings at my granny and grampy’s house. No one could make a pumpkin chiffon pie (cool whip in the batter) better than granny. When I was a teenager, we spent Thanksgivings in New York City – going to the Macy’s parade and seeing Broadway shows. And when I was married to my first husband, we spent Thanksgivings eating his signature meal of turkey, red cabbage, and apple pie.
During each of these holidays, I assumed that our customs would last forever. Like Tevya in “Fiddler on the Roof”– I too held onto the familiarity and comfort of ‘Tradition’. But of course, none of those traditions lasted. And really, how could they have? Life is imbued with change and cannot be frozen in time like some artifact preserved under glass.
Don’t our most joyful life celebrations (weddings, bar mitzvahs, birthdays, and christenings), in fact, all revolve around new life? While we often fear the pain of newness – and yes, change can be extremely painful — we also depend on the growth and transformation that newness brings.
This year, I celebrate my holidays with a new constellation of people in my life. But I’m well aware that over time, even these will change. I recognize that each and every year is special and unique unto itself. And I say thank heavens for change! Without it, I’d still be eight years old eating pumpkin chiffon pie in Texas.