Food traditions around the holidays are part of the glue that keep family and community bonded together. But when tradition stops serving you, it may be time to take a fresh look.
When I was growing up, our family holidays were very much centered on food. For four or five days before and after an actual holiday, there was continuous preparing and eating of food.
I absolutely love the indulgent atmosphere of the holidays and eating really wonderful, special foods. I noticed over time that the tradition became less and less about the special foods and more and more about the abundance of food. When the focus was placed on the amount of food instead of the quality of the food, the whole atmosphere of getting together and spending time with one another changed, too.
This is an example of tradition getting off track. Yes, we were still gathering around food and the making of food but the quality and sense of connection was reflected in the lackadaisical approach.
My family had gotten off track and thoughtless about our food traditions. We mindlessly gathered, mindlessly prepared food and mindlessly ate it. As an adult reflecting back, I can see how this has effected not only my own sense of security and connection within my family but also my nieces and nephews. When you give little value to the food that nourishes your body, you are unconsciously under-valuing yourself and your family.
Tradition is important but thoughtfulness must be used. According to Psychology Today, the best traditions may be those we invent. Traditions are a reflection of your core values and teach the next generation. Take the time to discuss and decide what is important to your family. Is it time to tweak old traditions or create new? How do you want your holiday traditions to reflect important values to the next generation?
These tips will not only bring the thoughtfulness back into the day, but will help to prevent a food hangover the next day.
Happy holidays: May your days be filled with joy, connection and great food!
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