Traditions

From my window at dusk

"Traditions must evolve - otherwise they become acts without meaning, fossils from dead civilizations, relics of a past that remind us of where we were, not where we're going." - David Mas Masumoto, Holiday Meals.

I have been seeing pages after pages of articles about Thanksgiving and then suddenly at the flip of a certain switch now they are all talking about Christmas. It is quite baffling for me since Thanksgiving is not in my culture, the day (which falls on 25 Nov this year) was a non-event to me. However, any sort of celebration involving food is always interesting to me, and presumably you as well.

Celebrating Christmas is something that I can relate to. Not for any religious reasons though. We are Buddhist. But I rationalised that it doesn't preclude us from feasting with the family especially when good food establishments start pushing their Christmas catalog your way.

I can't exactly remember when I suggested to my mom that very thought of using Christmas as the perfect excuse to pig out. I guess she saw the glutton in me then. But my mom wasn't overly concerned about it. In fact, I suspect, she encouraged it. Year after year, she carted back whole turkeys, chucks of roast beef and hocks of ham. Now it has taken control over me. She smiled, feigning innocence. Now I know where it all started.

I have some half-formed romantic idea of starting a tradition of my own. Something like a proper sit down breakfast on Saturday morning or lunch on Sunday. But just thinking about what goes into the planning, logistics and cooking, I realise that I am just too disorganised for the job. It is one thing to suggest a tradition when the actual preparation is done by someone else, but a totally different matter when everything falls on your lap, or in this case your kitchen.

I wonder what tradition am I passing on to our little princess. What will she remember of our family life together when she reflect later on in her life?

Post edit: The New York Times ran an article about how people adapt their parent's traditions according to the changing time and their own lifestyle. It then dawn on me that I don't have to cook the same food that my mom cooks for our Chinese Reunion Dinner to give our little princess a tradition, what is more important at the end of the day is that the whole family is together and sharing a moment.

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