This is the season of traditions of almost every kind.
We have religious traditions, music traditions, food traditions, gifting traditions, decorating traditions….yikes.
We can hardly get away from them.
Sometimes the tradition becomes so rote it hardly has any meaning, others are full of meaning and the tradition means different things to different family members…..so how to decide which to keep and which to morph into something more meaningful.
This came home to me in spades a year or so ago when I brought a pie (pecan) to my daughter’s for Thanksgiving.
Since I was keenly aware of how much sugar and corn syrup the recipe called for, I decided to use Agave syrup for the corn syrup. I had also changed from white to whole wheat pastry flour in the PRIZED family cookie recipe. The flour switch in the cookie recipe was NOT successful.
….As the pie was about to be served, my son said “Have you done anything to THIS?” I said no….and then remembered the syrup switch and fessed up that agave had been substituted for the corn syrup. I received a skeptical look and the pie was delicious.
However, the WHOLE exchange brought home to me how important certain foods are to my family….in THEIR TRADITIONAL fashion. I would not have believed that the foods I made were that important….but I was shown very clearly that some things matter….a lot !
So, too, with the Christmas tree decorations….the hand made pieces from the children’s school days etc.
We are now living in a home where we chose to eliminate our tree….and we haven’t looked back….BUT I haven’t thrown away those boxes of tree decorations yet. Maybe in the new year, I will separate the trimmings and send them off to those who want them……
One other thing- the ritual meals!!!!
The time may come when the traditional meal becomes a burden. Not only to the host but also to the guests who would prefer to be doing something else…( walking on the beach? riding bikes, going to the movies….or establishing their OWN traditions!). My suggestion is to take a look at what you REALLY want to do, become conscious of your own needs and dare to make a change….with joy in your ability to be flexible.
Cheers and Happy Holidays to all!