My parents created so many lasting traditions in my family. I will never forget the Christmas routine, a routine that I still follow to this day, every time I am home for the holiday. I know that on Christmas Eve I will go to church with my parents (the only day out of the year that I attend church services) and that the church will be packed with families. My parents and I still attend the children’s service full of children and complete with a live nativity. I know that no matter how old I get, I will still laugh every time the camel pees on the altar. I know that when we arrive home, we will sit together and eat and drink coffee. This ends in the unwrapping of one gift. I know it will be pajamas, always pajamas to wear for the night. When I wake I will eat breakfast and gift opening will begin shortly after. After gifts are open and bellies are full, we get ready to go to my grandparent’s house where another set of rituals and traditions will take place. There is comfort in tradition. Comfort in the knowing of what will happen next. I don’t know what will happen to these traditions after my parents are gone. Will my brother and sisters continue the traditions that our parents create for us or will we create traditions with our new families? Slowly growing apart as our traditions break down.
As I sit and think about our play for Klecksography, I cannot help, but to be reminded of family during the holiday seasons. No matter what your faith is, it seems that holidays are filled with families, the ones we are born into and the ones we create. During rehearsal, many conversations came up about family traditions around the holidays. No matter how old we get, it seems that when we are at home for the holidays, we fall back into the same patterns and customs as when were children. Siblings bicker and fight and arguments are to be had. Memories from holidays past are brought up and reminisced on. This falling back to an older time is what can make bringing a guest to a family holiday all the more awkward. Having to constantly catch up someone who is not used to your family or not aware of certain “family rules” can often feel out of place or placed into the position of “outsider” not matter how hard people try to make them feel welcome.
Our play centers on this idea of connection. How do we connect, both literally and metaphorically? How do we integrate an outsider into long held holiday traditions? And more importantly, how do we connect to our family after the loss of a loved on?
This will be the 2nd holiday that I have worked on a Rorschach Holiday show and it is always fun to rehearse and share in the holiday joy with fellow artists. Here are some photos of us in rehearsal. Enjoy.