traditionally speaking

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This week, I am grateful for my family. Every week, really, and during the start of the holidays there is the extra sweetness of knowing that we will enjoy a day of gathering and eating and appreciating each other’s company. My daughter has named our holiday Family Eating Day. I like the formality of the capitalization, heralding a new tradition, and the jaunty acronym.

a little twist

I am not especially traditional, or rather, I tend to hold tradition lightly and am willing to bend, twist or break it. Our small gathering of family is simpatico in that way, either not wedded to tradition, or flexible, as things shift. What matters is being together, letting go of what no longer works for us, or keeping the things that make us smile. There will be plenty of somewhat traditional sides this Friday (another break in the tradition), but no turkey, because no one loves it. If any one person did, I’d roast one, but I’m kinda looking forward to a carcass-free fridge. It makes for a pretty stress-free day.

When my daughter was living with me as a young adult, I asked her one year how she felt about Christmas trees. We’d had one every year as she was growing up, and I loved it for so long—the ornaments, the smell of pine, the gifts. But her enthusiasm seemed to be waning as she got older, and mine was a bit as well. One day in November or December, I asked how she felt about getting a tree that year. “I don’t give a shit,” she said. So we were done, at least for the next few years. I have had a tree a couple of times since, but only if I’m drawn to do so.

wishes for you

All of this is to say that I don’t think people should necessarily blow up the holidays and shred every tradition—unless shredding is your thing. But having the flexibility to drop what isn’t working for you—or to add something new that does light you up—is incredibly freeing. I hope you have a wonderful week, however you celebrate, or do not, traditionally or not. I hope you have plenty of whatever nourishes your mind, heart, body, and soul.

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