ALTERNATIVE HOLIDAYS: As a longtime practitioner, I can report the following:
1. People might not understand. Some will be angry, hurt as if your preference to sling potatoes at the Lowdown Café is a rejection of them.
2. Some, assuming you’ve no plans since you aren’t talking turkey, will say odd things like, “Why don’t you go eat with the homeless?” or “You should volunteer…” because they don’t know that doing such things is your norm and that you merely asked about their holiday plans out of friendship. You weren’t looking for an invitation.
3. You’ll have more fun hiking with strangers, feeding the poor, holding the disabled, and donating the cash and time than you had in a hundred holidays with your crazy family.
4. Sitting there with the downtrodden, you’ll nearly break down into uncontrollable grief, because you desperately miss your crazy family and would give anything to bring them back to life.
5. You’ll learn that every day is a holiday; all days are the same—special and quite possibly your last, or the last of your friend.
6. Your neighbor will sneak you a plate of her leftovers late at night, after you’ve returned from your good deeds. Friends will give you “not-Christmas” candy after the fact. People can’t help themselves being generous and we all do it in our own, special ways. We cherish each other.
7. Some years you’ll just say what the heck and join in all the festivities. Being shallow, materialistic and stressed—in good ways! —reminds you why you were born and why you persist in this life. We love each other and express it the best we can, sometimes fumbling, and other times, getting to be Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
(I’ve no plans for Thanksgiving here on the road < wink, wink >; Christmas will be with friends.)