Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Alert: National Tooth Fairy Day is almost here - August 23!!

Well, at my age, I certainly hope not to have any teeth fall out to leave for the Tooth Fairy, but I well remember leaving my tooth under my pillow, eagerly awaiting the princely - or princessly - amount of 25 cents.  I didn't wonder too much what the Tooth Fairy looked like, or why there was someone specifically assigned to this task, as opposed to a Falling Out Hair Fairy - we could all clean up with that one - most people lose a surprising amount of hair every day (which is simultaneously replaced by new strands growing in, luckily enough!), and at, say, even a dollar a strand, at the end of each week there would be a tidy sum for dinner for two at a fancy schmancy restaurant.

But I digress.  Sadly, there is only a Tooth Fairy, and she is in our lives only briefly, and then disappears to reward other, younger, beneficiaries for surviving the trauma of losing a tooth.

I used to worry at a loose tooth, wiggling it around in an attempt to speed the process.  I don't recall if I ever followed my brother's rather malicious advice to tie a string around the tooth, tie the other end of the string to a doorknob on an open door, and then slam the door shut, yanking the tooth out.  I rather think if I had tried it, I would remember to the end of my days.

By the way, I had no doubt the Tooth Fairy was a woman, but evidently many people believe it is a man.  I think the task of slipping the tooth out from under the pillow and replacing it with moolah requires a delicate touch beyond the abilities of most males, even male fairies, but who knows?  I was always fast asleep and never woke up when the transfer was being made.  Either I slept a lot more soundly back then, or my parents had a very delicate touch . . .

How to celebrate this holiday?  (By the way, some place it in February, but that has Valentines's Day, and I, like many others, think August need the Tooth Fairy more).  Well, you could prepare or purchase toothsome delicacies for a special feast (I know, stretching it).  You could take special care of your choppers, flossing, picking, and brushing with more vigor and enthusiasm than you do the rest of the year.  Or you could create a small shrine and leave offerings of toothpaste and mouthwash. OR if you know and like any young children, you could tell them about the Tooth Fairy, including some stories about his/her adventures, and maybe give them a Happy Tooth Fairy Day card purportedly sent to them by the Tooth Fairy him or herself, with info on taking care of teeth and a small monetary bribe to make up for the educational component.

Oooh - I think I'll send my dentist a Happy Tooth Fairy Day card, thanking him for helping me keep the Tooth Fairy away!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Six months later, and countless holidays have gone by unobserved . . .

It has been a tumultuous six months, but it is time to get to work on the holidays.  Of course, we just celebrated a biggie, the Fourth of July.  I remember celebrations when I was just three or four.  They were so much smaller in scale, and yet they were deeply satisfying.  No humongoid fireworks (and don't get me wrong, I love humongoid fireworks - I saw two sets this year), no red, white, and blue-themed table ware, and yet there was a personal quality to it, and a sense of community that to this day is one of the most satisfying things about the holiday.

I remember best that all the children would gather in the small park in the center of our close-knit neighborhood, with parents in close attendance at the outer margins, hanging back but ready to dart in at a moment's notice.  We would be supplied with fireworks called sparklers that were essentially long, thin sticks, which we lit at one end and watched with fascination and the fizzed and crackled and yes, sparkled their way from top to bottom.

The trick was always when to abandon ship, as it were, and drop the sparkler before it burnt your fingers.  I remember a few unfortunate miscalculations to this day.

There are a surprising number of other Independence Days in July around the world.  Argentina, the Bahamas, Burundi, Cape Verde, Comoros, Colombia, Belarus, Rwanda, Peru, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Venezuela, and Vanuatu.  I will add the dates in July in my next entry, and perhaps a few local customs for celebrating Independence day in Belarus or Vanuatu, for example.

In the meantime, happy holidays!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

There is a holiday to celebrate every day!

I think the more we can celebrate, the more exciting life can be.  Celebrations are good for the soul, for the spirits, and the world.  They inspire creativity and thoughtfulness.  I don't see why we should be confined to just a few of the "biggies" every year.  There are terrific holidays out there, just waiting to be observed by some intrepid, imaginative souls.

I will try to bring you a holiday for each day of the week.  They may come all bundled up at the beginning of the week, or they may be posted daily, but they will be there, along with suggestions for celebrating them and creative things to do based on their customs.

Celebrate the season - every day may not be Christmas, as I wished as a child, but every day can be a holiday!  Party on!