I like chocolate, tall trees, and holidays. My favorites are Hershey’s, redwoods, and… umm, it depends when you ask me.
My favorite holiday has changed nine times in my short life. I’m not fickle, it’s just that the things which are important to me change. My tastes change. And the people around me change.
From birth to age 6, my favorite holiday was Columbus Day. That was back when it was celebrated on October 12 and I told the kid at Skateland that today was my birthday.
I liked my birthday better than other holidays for three reasons: 1. I got to pick the dinner, lasagna with garlic bread 2. I got to pick the cake, angel food cake with green buttercream frosting 3. Jeff, Jean, and Jake didn’t get presents, like they did on Christmas and Easter. It just made the day more special for me.
When I was five and six, I liked both my birthday and Halloween. On Halloween, I could dress up to be anything I wanted to be… as long as Jean wanted to be something in tandem.
And there was so much candy! I got sick every November 1, but that didn’t dampen the joy of going out at night and having random people giving me candy!
By the time I was seven, I was tired of school and my new favorite holiday became Christmas. For Christmas, we got presents, candy, and two weeks off of school, which was 12 times better than Easter when we got eggs, new underwear, and one week off of school. I didn’t even like eggs and bunnies don’t lay eggs. It made no sense. Whereas the thought of a fat, benevolent man with flying reindeer was much more palatable (probably because the presents were so much better!).
Christmas remained my favorite holiday throughout my school years. When I joined the Air Force, the tide turned again. I lived on Guam and I couldn’t make it home for Christmas in ’95, so Thanksgiving was where it was at. A whole day about family, football, and food. Presents didn’t matter and candy didn’t matter. Mom, Dad, Jeff, Jean, and Jake. That mattered.
Thanksgiving gave way to New Year’s Eve when I liked the thought of new beginnings while I was in college. A bright clean slate. Every year. And a roaring party to accompany say goodbye and hello.
Then Jeffrey got married and moved two miles away. Memorial Day would come around and we’d barbecue and celebrate Jean and Jake’s birthdays. More family time, more food. Some presents, none for me, but I didn’t care; there was a new nephew on the way!
More recently, the 4th of July was most special. I got married then. And I always liked fireworks, the greens, reds, and purples on hot summer nights after long days of baseball and baseball and baseball.
But now, now I have a new favorite holiday. A new reason to celebrate. Father’s Day is no longer about giving dad the macaroni artwork that Mrs. Peskay made us make. Nope, now it’s a day where I get a picture of us together and a puzzle of the presidents, something I can do with my son. For now though, the boy’s crying. It’s time to change him, but I don’t mind. I made him promise that he wouldn’t pee on me on Father’s Day.