The end-of-year holidays bring with them a delightfully mixed platter of old and new.
There are all the old family traditions, which have been celebrated for years innumerable. There are newly minted traditions as young families discover ways to infuse meaning into their celebrations.
Like many folks, we hang stockings up and fill them with small gifts. But this year, being in a different state, is our first for going out into the woods and finding a tree of our own (twice, with two different families actually). It’s something of an odd tradition really, bringing a tree into the house and decorating it, but there is something beautiful about it too.
One of our aunts likes to buy enough gifts for everyone, ship them over, and have us play a sort of gift swapping game—it’s always a blast. I know of a family that hides a pickle in their Christmas tree every year. I’m curious how that got started!
Food is a big part of the season as well, there are some dishes you might expect to have around Thanksgiving or Christmas, but there’s always a chance your neighbor, nephew, or daughter-in-law could cook up something fresh and out of the ordinary.
In our house, we roll almond truffles and make fudge and you can usually find a hot pie or two ready for the family. My wife has a special tradition passed down of waking early on Christmas morning to make calcum, a family German bread. Oh, and there’s often chili along with oyster stew for Christmas eve. My step-mom has made berry crepes for Christmas morning, which I always found to be a special treat.
You might travel to spend time with family and old friends or maybe this year you’re inviting some new acquaintances over to share a meal and presents with.
This will be our first year hosting the family for Christmas, including three dogs (plus our own pup).
At the year’s close, it’s a time to reflect on the past year and a time to look forward to what lay on the horizon. It’s a time to cast off old habits and begin new resolutions (hopefully ones that make it past January).
Creativity also is a lovely blend of old and new. I’m reminded of the many notable sculptures and constructions I’ve seen made from found items. It’s a repurposing of what once was into something new and interesting.
Whether you spend more time bringing out the old or welcoming the new, I hope you discover many opportunities to get creative this season.
I hope you share your creativity liberally with those around you—especially if it involves pie. Not avocado pie though (trust me, it’s disgusting any time of year).
Whatever you’re doing and wherever you find yourself, I wish a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to each of you.