On Holiday Tradition
When I think about holidays I think about tradition. I think about the deep and intimate moments, the light and funny quirks. We repeat these traditions each year because we are here.
It’s been a challenging couple of months where I’ve been thrown into a tumult of change. I have found myself able to best move forward with care. Self-care. Routines. Repetition.
There is sense of strength in the tiniest actions: to wake up, to write, to exercise, to sleep. To show yourself that even when mind and spirit might be caught up in an emotional flux, you are still here.
You are still here. Physically, you are still here. That is what the beautiful steady pulse of routine reminds us. That is where moments of forgiveness and fortitude in the self form; you will survive. You are still here.
In noticing these tiny actions we help to ground ourselves away from the anxiety of change. We ground ourselves in a sense of self, in a history and context that is only ours, in holiday traditions.
I find myself visiting my mother for a Saturday to make candies. I am reminded of the array of childhood Christmas’ where we spent time making these same candies. Peanut butter and sugar rolled together, dipped in a molten pool of thick chocolate. There was nothing more fun for me.
Rolling grape leaves. Finally, a woman, invited to join the Aunts at the table. Finally able to taste and appreciate the cumin and the lamb, the spices and the Lebanese in me.
Then, on Christmas Eve, always Oprakta, a giving of thanks and kisses to dozens of Polish relatives.
Christmas morning. Breakfast at dads, perogies and sausage. Next mom’s for presents then onto grandma’s house. No variations. No change. Steady the course again please.
Because I am here. My family is here. We are still here. The routine and the special traditions are actions that dig open channels, space for gratitude and grace, and when all are gone it is a special way to trigger us into the years of love and family when we are still here.