So, under the construct of this blog-a-day-in-December plan, a few serendipitous things happened with the timing of topic suggestions and where the calendar fell. Not the least of which was that my 25th request was for “traditions.” As you may know, the 25th of December is Christmas Day – what could be better for talking about traditions?
However, as sometimes happens, real life got in the way of serendipity. Nearly ten members of my family descended on my tiny apartment for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, where I proceeded to cook a feast of seven fishes, a full holiday brunch, roast beef tenderloin, and about a million appetizers. And then things got really crazy with work. The blog suffered and I made no post on that day or for many days after. As my one friend would say, “le sigh.”
Despite not writing, I was, nonetheless, thinking about family and holiday traditions. But, here’s the thing. We don’t have many. Is that weird? We’re sort of an eclectic, decentralized bunch. We love each other a lot and enjoy getting together, but we’re inconsistent.
Sometimes the holidays mean travel; sometimes they mean staying close to home; sometimes we exchange presents; sometimes just hugs. They usually mean eating turkey. We didn’t this year, much to my dad’s chagrin.
Almost universally, my family values adventure. My one brother skipped the family affair to drive his RV to the outer desert to bake in the sun with his girlfriend this Christmas. My other brother is spearheading an excursion to Oregon in a few weeks to forage for truffles in the woods. At 77 and 71 years old, my parents are currently plotting their fourth move across the country. Me? I’ll be on planes six times in the next four weeks. It’s in our blood.
It made me wonder… can adventure in and of itself be considered a tradition? Every year the sous chef and I plan one big trip (Alaska is a serious contender this year), which I suppose is a bit of a tradition? My brothers have both traveled the world, but have always somehow made it back to live in southern California. My parents never fear moving, but always end up as homebodies, wherever they land. When we do gather as a family, it’s rarely be in the same place and the players vary, but the food is always good and the bickering is always measured with laughter.
In the end, tradition seems to be what you make of it. It could be doing the same thing every year, or making it up all new each year. I think that what really matters is to simply love what you do and to never stop doing what brings you joy.
On that note, I have airline tickets to book. Later.