Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Today my daughter had a "Thanksgiving lunch" at her school (she's two, you'll recall), and parents were invited. She was pretty tickled to see me at her school during the middle of the day, and even moreso when I sat down at the little table with her. She didn't eat much of the meal (although she did shout her Thanksgiving mantra, "It's turkey time!"), but she has discovered that she loves "punkinpie" (one word). She generally doesn't like anything gooey, but I guess she made an exception for pie!

When we got home, she was thrilled to help her mom cook in the kitchen. "I'm makin' punkinpie with Mama!" It was too cute, she was so excited. My wife was having a ball, too, because this is the first holiday tradition that our toddler has really been able to understand. My wife got a real kick out of being able to pass on one of her family traditions.

It makes me wonder what kinds of traditions an alien civilization might have. It's obviously not a racial thing (as humans all have widely different traditions for holidays), so it's not immediately obvious how to figure out what their traditions might be. For that matter, a group of colonists living in a space station might develop holiday traditions (or other kinds of traditions) that are radically different from our own. I think you'd have to do a very good job of developing the sociology of your alien culture to be able to even guess at what their traditions might be. On the other hand, this type of color can really add to the richness of your story, so I think the effort is well spent! It can be quite a challenge, but a fun one to think through...

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