What was I doing in a ‘Star Wars’ kiddie party?
In less than two weeks, my world goes on Thanksgiving Day mode. This year it falls on Nov. 23, but at our home and in our hearts, that day is reserved for quiet remembering.
We will celebrate Thanksgiving on the 29th instead, which is also the eve of a grandson’s birthday.
All systems are go, which means we must get a final head count for “turkey day” and prepare to gather and give thanks as a family.
It is time to deck the halls, and check out the lights and ornaments. Our tree will be up. I have ordered poinsettias. And it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
The story goes that, in 1620, a group of English Protestants broke away from the Church of England and sailed to the New World on the Mayflower with plans to land in what today is New York City. But the winds forced them to change their course, and they settled instead in what we now know as Cape Cod.
Life was not easy for the colonists.
The first “thanksgiving” happened in 1621 when, one autumn morning, four settlers went hunting for food to celebrate the harvest. Hearing shots, the American Natives thought the foreigners were starting a war. When they realized their mistake, they sat down with the pilgrims and, for three days, feasted on deer, corn, shellfish and roasted meat.
No, turkey was not on the menu.
Did you know that these Englishmen called themselves Saints, not Pilgrims? They were also known as Puritans. And they did not wear silver buckles on their shoes. And some writers claim that the original dwellers of the New World did not wear feathered headgear. Really? Go figure. There goes another childhood image, shot to pieces.
Historians write that the big Thanksgiving dinners did not happen until the late 18th century, to give thanks for “good land and good fortune.” Turkey, they surmise, became the pièce de résistance because it was available in abundance.
It was President Abraham Lincoln who, in 1863, declared two national days of Thanksgiving—one in August to remember the Battle of Gettysburg and another in November to celebrate blessings.
Today, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.
Except for the work it entails (thank God I have a kitchen crew), this is my favorite day of the year.
‘An Evening with Pilita’
Remember her? Remember her TV show? Does it seem like a whole lifetime ago? It does to me.
The ABS-CBN studio was then on Roxas Boulevard. I remember that, from across the way, you could smell the crisp sea air. Not garbage. It was safe to walk by the seawall and buy balut. Those were the days without traffic.
I could go on and on. Talk about nostalgia and I get carried away.
Imagine Pilita Corrales, Asia’s Queen of Song, in concert, her inimitable singing style backed by Mel Villena’s AMP Big Band, and the string section of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mark your calendars. That’s on Nov. 17 at The Theatre at Solaire. Show time is 8 p.m.
Do I sound excited? Indulge me. I am!
The invitation came a month earlier. Online.
It was firm about RSVP. I can’t say that I blame them, as many people are oblivious about those “niceties.”
There was a dress code. Everyone was to wear earth tones. I harrumphed again. Okay, it is a first birthday and they are excited. But they’re not Hawaiian, I thought. Why the big deal?
In Hawaii, a child’s first birthday is huge. It is luau time. Over a hundred guests sit on lauhala mats and eat kamayan-style. There’s lots of good food, music and hula.
I guess I just wasn’t in a party mood. I had heard about the Yemen missile. I was following disconcerting tweets about North Korea. Nobody knew if dry runs for traffic lockdowns were scheduled. I was uneasy.
If only to get my mind off my dark outlook, I reached for a beige and brown blouse and put my game face on.
It was Sunday and therefore a breeze on the road.
I knew the party theme would be “Star Wars.” I had teased earlier that I expected nothing less than a Cecil B. DeMille production, a la “The Ten Commandments.”
But one young person asked, “Cecil who?” And I dropped the subject.
Two giant screens looped scenes from George Lucas’ masterpiece.
The lights and sounds were incredible. I was not prepared for such detail.
We were in the Forest Moon of Endor, home of the Ewoks. A tiny Luke Skywalker loved his black outfit. Jedi and Storm Troopers walked among us. Obi Wan Kenobi hosted. R2D2 was on the birthday cake. We drank blue lemonade.
The birthday girl and star was Princess Leia. Her parents were Anakin and Padme Admidala.
Children’s parties have truly evolved. No one plays Pin the Tail on the Donkey anymore. Well, they did have a version of musical chairs with light sabers.
I couldn’t sleep that night. Must have been the sugar overload from cotton candy made with maple syrup and bacon. And the fun!
Here is my review. It was a splendid event; impeccably produced and brilliantly directed.
Cecil B. DeMille would have been impressed. And remember, he once parted the Red Sea.
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