Stress Surrounding Traditions
All the Holidays inch ever closer, so does the stress surrounding traditions, recipes and memories from the past. This often induces more stress in us than our ancestors would have ever wanted to instill in us. Making Grandma June’s cranberry sauce will not destroy your holiday meal.
Here is a post I wrote to my niece about stress surrounding traditions and what I really want her to remember about our family and whatever traditions she chooses to keep. Whatever your struggle is this year friends, let it go. Gather your loves and put them around a table. Make whatever you heart desires and laugh long and loud. It’s all the holidays are good for anyway.
My darling Lexi,
All families have certain things they have done for generations. Some are silly. Some are passed from one family member to another as a rite of traditional passing of the torch. While some are beautiful and may have deep meaning, there are many that have continued for such long periods of time, no one can remember why it is done. There is something I want you to know about the traditions that are particular to us. I want you to feel free to keep and discard what you will. I refuse to be the member who demands you spend the night at my house on Christmas Eve, even when you have children of your own. I also don’t want you to be forced to make Great Aunt Sally’s sticky buns for Thanksgiving. You’ve never met Great Aunt Sally and her sticky bun recipe sucks.
We become more and more sedentary as we age. We are like trees whose roots dig deeper into the ground we stand upon. While I always hope you cherish the memories of making gingerbread houses and delivering cookies to our neighbors. I will pass down my own quirky things to you. But should you find in your thirties such a taste of gingerbread doesn’t warm your palate and perhaps the thought of icing another gingerbread makes you homicidal, will you make sure you tell me? I promise to not become offended or create some unnecessary familial soap opera.
The strongest thing about family is our commitment to one another. It is never the amount of restrictions we put on one another. Should you call me in twenty years and proclaim you and the immediate ones belonging to you are traveling to France for Christmas, I will miss you. I do promise I will not bemoan your absence or hold it forever over your head. While we belong to each other from a collection of marriage and blood, we are not bound to celebrate holidays on a date designated from a government. Should you determine Christmas is best celebrated in July, I’ll put up a tree and put out my famous pecan balls and turkey.
I value you and any time we spend together. Our traditions will be the things we do or don’t do together. The most important part is the together and not the when. Just please promise me you won’t throw away the recipe for Chicken n- dumplings I gave you. You never have to make it or eat them ever again, it just took me ten years to recreate it from memory after my grandmother died. She never wrote anything down, so it was pure trial and error. In turn, I promise you to not curse you to such a fate. I’ll write anything down you ask me too and even a few like our notes here you didn’t think to ask me.
Happy Holidays Lovie,
Letters to Lexi is a blog series written for women and girls who may need a differing look at womanhood. We explore the good, the weird, the hard and above all else, the truth about what it means to be a woman and what your femininity means to you. So glad to have you here. You can read the first installment here. If you have thoughts or post ideas about the topic of womanhood, I’d love to hear from you. Shoot me an email and let’s start a discussion.