Today is October 31, 2014, All Hallows Eve or Halloween, the start of the holiday season. The good thing is the parade for the San Francisco Giants, winner of baseball’s World Series, is being celebrated on a rainy day in the city. The bad thing is it’s raining, which is a good thing. No one likes rain on a parade day. However, California really needs the rain.
It’s an exciting rainy day. The streets of San Francisco are crowded with thousands of hats and gloves, umbrellas, plastic poncho wearing fans waiting (some since 4:00AM) along the parade route on Market Street, dressed in orange and black representing the colors of both the San Francisco Giants and Halloween and it all fits. The University of California, (CAL) marching band is playing, leading the parade. The rain is inconsequential – the excitement palpable, I can feel the joy through my television screen. Cable cars on wheels, marching horses, with the human scoopers walking behind with their ever-ready shovels, fire trucks, vintage cars, double-deck buses, white and yellow plastic rain coats, happy, smiling faces of all colors with cameras of all shapes and sizes, great floats, confetti and lights – it’s amazing to watch. I am so proud of the Giants. They were incredible to watch during the nail-biting series and edge of the seat last game win. The Parade of Champions – Go Giants!
I once looked forward to this season as my favorite time of the year. It’s not so much anymore. Regretfully, rather than the celebrations, this time of year reminds me of the losses in my life. What was once fun on Halloween has become a chore. Waiting for the doorbell to ring, with the big bowl of candy, I now worry that I’m part of the problem of childhood obesity and maybe ADHD in children by doing so. I could give fruit or some other healthy choice; however, I’m tired of trying to do what’s right and feeling guilty when I’m not. The few children who ring aren’t so cute anymore with their store-bought costumes so different from the ones we made for ourselves when I was a child.
Thanksgiving is no longer the easy holiday of eating, family enjoyment and thankfulness that I remember when growing up. Now as a family, we must first reach agreement on where we can have dinner with everyone because of family issues and uncomfortableness between family members. I look in the mirror and ask, “Is it me?”
Christmas was my favorite, now, the putting up trees and shopping for others is a chore and I’m always wondering if I am offending my saying, “Merry Christmas” when that’s what I grew up saying as I walked through the happy throng of shoppers at the mall. Now I feel a low-lying anger when I say “Happy Holidays” although I really mean it (I wish everyone would have a happy holiday season), but I really want to say, “Merry Christmas”. How far must I go to be PC?
I’ll watch the ball come down on New Years Eve, if I’m still awake. I now drink a glass of champagne well before midnight knowing that I will probably fall asleep before the ball drops, missing the old Dick Clark for the past few years and wishing him well.
I miss my mom and dad more and more and am reminded of the “good old days” when the holidays with them were so much fun. Am I remembering correctly, or am I painting the past with a forgiving brush and only remembering the good or is this a natural part of aging where memories of the past seem to trump the living of the present?