Do you follow certain rituals during holidays such as Christmas? I realize not everyone celebrates Christmas but for those of us who do, it amazes me how important traditions are in shaping their activities. Take for example, the lights we string around our home outdoors and those we place on the artificial indoor Christmas tree. They’re bright and colourful and we delight in their splendour.
My practical side thinks about the rising costs of hydro – but I give in, simply because it’s Christmas, and that’s a part of the tradition.
The sharing of festive food is a traditional driving force that brings people together over the holidays. Meal plans and family recipes are passed down from generation to generation. “This is how we do it” is a common phase.
The forming of my own family traditions was interrupted; everything changed when my mother died during my childhood. I learned instead, to be flexible and enjoy the traditions of other families.
Now, or, at least, over the last nine years, I’ve taken on the traditions of my partner, who hails from the UK. Considering that she does an amazing amount of planning and preparation, this is anything but a hardship.
Here’s a taste of what we’ll be doing.
We have homemade Christmas Cake, which I had no idea required weeks of brandy feedings alongside several steamed Christmas puddings, Scottish shortbread, and English Traditional Trifle …and those are just the desserts!
On Christmas Eve., we enjoy a lovely ham supper – buffet style, and on Christmas Day we will sit down with friends and family for the traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
Christmas breakfast consists of sherry soaked grapefruit followed by boiled eggs and homemade bread.
All of these delights are “how we do it”. I enjoy being able to say that – I enjoy being part of a “we”.
Last winter we moved to a new home, in sunnier climes, about four hours from the farm we previously lived on, and the old town we’d known for so long.
I’ll miss seeing some of my friends, who are like family, and some relatives – but life is always a series of changes and I’m always willing to adapt.
I do believe my adaptability is my secret sauce to being happy – it sees me through, no matter my circumstances or state of health.
Whatever your traditions, or however you spend the holidays, I’d like to wish you health, safety, and love.
I look forward to connecting with you again in the New Year, and in the meantime I’m off to put on my stretchy pants!