The Tradition of Food

It’s that time of year: time for candy and pies…time for cookies, cakes, turkey, and stuffing. It’s time for love, warmth, family, and memories. It’s time for sweet smells, crisp air, warm drinks, and pumpkin everything. It’s time for tradition. And, for me, that tradition includes a lot of food.

(Who DOESN’T put a whole stick of butter in their corn??)

This time of year is always bitter-sweet for me now that I’ve left childhood behind. Many of the traditions from my childhood have passed for good, and new traditions just don’t have those beautiful memories attached to them yet. But one thing never really changes about this time of year, and that is the food.

(My Christmas cookies from 2011)

No matter how old I get, there will still be turkey on Thanksgiving and cookies on Christmas (God-willing… because I know that, for many, food is a luxury). It’s very easy for me to start trying to fill up the bit of emptiness I feel because of ended traditions with food that will always be around.

This year, I want to start a new tradition. I want to start a tradition where I focus on people and non-food experiences for the holidays. I want to fill up the bitter-sweet spaces with love, and not with food. I want food to just be food and not something that I cling to because it will never change or leave me.

This year, I’ll focus on random acts of kindness, sharing memories, and visiting family. I’ll sing carols (which also never change), give gifts, and make sure to tell people that I love them. I’ll dance in the first snow, play like a kid again, and try to find magic that still exists even as an adult.

I want these things to be my new traditions. I want to remember that genuine love also never leaves; in fact, it lasts a lot longer than any food.