Monday, February 15, 2010

Once again...

it's time to celebrate Speranza'a. For those of you new to the blog, here's the original explanation that I wrote a few years ago:

A couple of years ago, my kids got a Sesame Street DVD called Elmo's Happy Holidays. It's very cute, and covers Christmas, Hannukah, Eid and Kwanzaa, explaining the basic idea behind the holidays and showing real kids and their families celebrating them. My kids have watched this DVD over and over (and over). Somehow they got the idea that we should create and celebrate our own family holiday. Since their last name, like my husband's, is "Speranza," the obscure festival of Speranza'a was born.

Each winter, when the days are gray and cold and it seems like spring will never come, it is time for Speranza'a. (Technically speaking, it begins on the first Monday after Valentine's Day.) Each person in the family gets their own day. Monday is Tom's, mine is Tuesday, and so on, and the sixth and final day is for Charcoal [-- and any guests fortunate enough to be invited.] The person whose day it is gets to pick what we are having for dinner. Candles are lit and the person whose day it is gets to make a wish and blow out the candles. After dinner, we dance in the living room.

We are still working out some of the finer details; for example, someday I will have to take the kids to one of those paint-your-own pottery places so we can make special candleholders (a spenorah?). We still need to work on the Six Principles of Speranza'a: so far we've got the Principles of Irony, Gluttony and Magnetism, but I think they need tweaking.

But all silliness aside, it is sweet and surprising to see how much this family tradition means to my kids. They've been talking about it for weeks. They talk about what they are going to pick for their dinner (Elvis picked turkey breast; N. is opting for shells in tomato sauce; G. will probably ask for bacon and popcorn) and they are thrilled when it's their turn to make a wish and blow out the candles. From the parents' perspective, it is heartwarming to feel like we are making some special memories with our kids. I have little daydreams about them coming over when they are grownups, still celebrating this made-up holiday with us as we all grow older.

So from my family to yours, we wish you a happy Speranza'a!

13 comments:

JelliDonut said...

This is very sweet. Makes you wonder what kind of traditions they will pass on to their own families when they are grown.

Anonymous said...

Happy Speranza to all of you!!! I wish I'd had such an idea when all my kids were home! Enjoy! samm

Rows Red said...

I love it. I love everything about it! Big props to you and your family for creating something uniquely yours, and investing so much of yourselves in it. If your children decide to have kids, I have no doubt they'll continue the tradition.

Kitten With a Whiplash said...

What a fabulous idea, and it's wonderful and heartening to know that this special time can never be taken over by the commercial interests that have tried, often successfully, to strip away so much of the meaning and spirit of other holidays. Long live Speranza'a.

anne marie in philly said...

happy speranza'a! take pix and tell us about each night please! esp. charcoal's night!

Bridget said...

This is so funny, the other day I thought to myself that it was around the time of year for Speranza'a! Hope this year's celebrations are excellent.

puffthemagicrabbit said...

Awwww- Happy Speranza'a! It sounds so wonderful.

Molly said...

How lovely! It's funny, there's a fanfic writer I adore who calls herself Speranza, and I never stopped to consider that it might be her last name!

subliminalrabbit said...

how wonderful!

Park Bench Knitter said...

Wanna adopt a 44 year-old? You're a great mom!

Barb B. said...

What great kids you have for thinking this up.
And yes, you'll be rehashing the best ones for years to come.

Bacon and popcorn, love that one! We did the same for birthdays. (A tradition from my Mom's family) Her brother's dinner was always butterscoth pudding. Nothing else, just the pudding. Mom's was pineapple, bowl after bowl of pineapple.
At least my kids went for the full course, C. was New England Boiled Dinner with turnips, and A. was White Soup (aka clam chowder, but he hated clams, so we called it white soup, "what has bits in it what look like chicken".)

Yup, if they are anything like my kids, it'll be "remember the time" as they cook up peanut and banana floats for their kids' dinner.

anmiryam said...

It really is such a wonderfully cool thing that your kids came up with their own holiday and you and Tom have turned it into a real tradition!

The green glow on the horizon is coming from my house.

Robin said...

What a great family tradition! I'm finding from my sons - now 25 and 27 - that the efforts we made as parents when they were young did not go unnoticed.