Soon my quiet house will be all a flutter as my three daughters return home for the holidays. I was going to write “teenage” daughters but one aged out and the other two will this year. I guess the next stage is “adulthood.” As they mature, they are definitely developing their own thoughts about the world, some are similar and some are different from my own. It isn’t always smooth threading who they were with who they are becoming but isn’t that what we desire as parents, for our children to grow and become their true selves? Sometimes I need to remind myself as I let go of being “mommy”.
One of the places we share a similar world-view is our concern for the environment. We will not be traveling to Standing Rock for the holidays as they requested. However, we are going to embrace their call for less materialism during the holidays. We will be giving gifts we make i.e. jams and relish, and we will recycle items that we don’t need i.e. that old food processor will go to my daughter who desires to make homemade creamed soups (hope she doesn’t read this.)
Another thing we will be doing is making donations in honor of one another. We pick a non-profit that does work the recipient would want to support. If this is something you would like to do there is no shortage of wonderful non-profits doing amazing work that can be found both locally and globally.
And of course we will surround ourselves with all of the traditions we’ve developed over the years that come from a blended household where both Christmas and Hanukkah are celebrated. What fun that they overlap this year. So I guess we will have our traditional cheese strata for breakfast and latkes for dinner. We will bake plenty of cookies (healthy of course), play board games and do a puzzle or two.
Here’s wishing you happy holidays in whatever traditions you celebrate; remember it is the time we spend with one another that makes it all so special.
Kate Goldberg-Nutrition Educator at Healthy Oxford Hills, the local Healthy Community Coalition and a project of Stephens Memorial Hospital.
Reprinted with permission from the Advertiser Democrat