Rachel Melick

Rachel Melick

As another Christmas wraps up, so does another Community Holiday Dinner.

After working at this year’s 34th Annual Holiday Dinner, I started thinking about traditions and how important they are for people. I had a conversation with one of the volunteers who was nostalgic for the old days where the community cooked the meal and dropped it off that day. She was a bit saddened that this no longer occurs, because for her this is a deep rooted tradition.

Since I started working in Calistoga, this is a common theme that I hear from the community, that things aren’t the way they “used to be.” What many do not realize is that though things are not the same, there are new traditions for the new generations that are being developed and fostered.

This is not to mean that the changes are better or worse for that matter, but different. As time changes and places change the traditions of the past will always remain a thread in the community. But for those newcomers, like myself, we have to build our own traditions from the blocks of the past. Which is something I have so enjoyed doing.

Part of the new tradition for me lies in actually organizing the dinner and collecting the donated food items, actually going out in the community to seek out restaurants that would donate food items for the event. And though, we no longer have families making an extra turkey or a side of mashed potatoes we have some of the best restaurants in town preparing dishes to feed the community, their community.

I absolutely love this, and yes it is different from years past but it is a new tradition and a special one. As a relative newcomer to not only working here, but living here this has given me an opportunity to meet the community and develop relationships that I now hold near and dear. I think it is of utmost importance to not only know the people in a town but also the businesses that serve the town.

So thanks to a tradition that was started many years ago, actually it’s as old as I am (eek), our town can continue to foster a tradition, which may change over time but will always be rooted in the same values. Values that instill gratitude, servitude, and good human spirit.

Rachel Melick is the Calistoga Recreation Manager. She contributes the Recreation Reader column on a weekly basis. Melick can be reached at 942-2844 or rmelick@ci.calistoga.ca.us.

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