Worth re-reading this time of the Year: Emotional Time Travel and having a good Holiday
Announcement!!! Ladies and gentlemen, right now, this very moment, time-travel is possible. During the holidays you may return to when you were a child or any other time in your past. If everyone around you agrees to travel at the same speed to the same time, this can be fun. But fasten your seat belts…if you’re traveling to different time zones, all hell can break loose. Also, you can get stuck in time without others knowing where you are. “Age appropriate behavior” goes out the window when no one, including you, knows how old anyone is “emotionally” at the holiday dinner table. How do we all do this? I don’t know. But when mature and responsible Stefan is sad because the creamed onions, traditionally served with the Christmas goose since he was five, are absent from the dinner table, we get a peek at time-travel in action. When he fights his disappointment with sarcasm, he is not a 41-year-old man living in the present. He has unknowingly traveled back to when he was five years old in the 1960’s. And when the normally gracious 38-year-old Tina says to him, “You never like anything anyway. You always have to have it your way,” lo and behold, we see her in 1971, 12 years old, picking at her older brother again. These spontaneous time-trips can happen at any time. But they are more prevalent during the holidays. They are often triggered by a moment of tradition or ritual.
The holidays are a time to be especially tender and patient with one another and with ourselves. We are all, in various ways, traveling through time. No one can be sure what year we are in at any given moment. Time-travel happens whether you plan it or not. Witness Jennifer. On Christmas Eve when Jennifer was eight, her mother brought her warm milk in a special Christmas snowy mug. Jennifer drank from it sitting up in bed. Then mother tucked her in, stroked her hair and kissed her good night. Today Jennifer is 27 years old. She goes home for Christmas. On Christmas Eve her mother comes into her room with that mug of warm milk.