Holiday Traditions

By Heather Legg

The other day I was talking with my daughter about my holiday memories and traditions. You know what stands out the most to me as my strongest holiday memory? Sitting around a card table after a big holiday meal, playing cards with my grandfather and cracking nuts and eating them. Sort of ironic, huh, since my daughter is allergic to nuts?  Another thing I loved about Thanksgiving was my mom’s chestnut stuffing. That, too, is a thing of the past. Now the chestnuts are replaced with apples and cranberries. It’s still yummy, but some of the nostalgia is gone.

For me, those are a couple of memories and traditions that I can’t carry on. But it’s okay. Cracking nuts was something I shared with my grandpa and though I can’t do it with my family, that’s okay. We have other things we do special together, cooking for Thanksgiving, decorating the Christmas tree with candy canes, a special Christmas Eve dinner. And they have their memories they are making with their own grandparents.
No, we can’t eat chestnut stuffing and they can’t help peel them like I did with my mom, but they can help make other things, like peel pomegranates (the new favorite food in the house).

The thing is, traditions are important but they can be adapted. Instead of enjoying nuts together after a meal, we can share a cup of hot chocolate or still play cards but peel an orange instead of cracking nuts. The way we decorate will be a memory, so will our Christmas light drive.

You have to make your own memories sometimes, and unfortunately, some of the things that remind us of our past can’t be repeated. I have a fond place in my heart when I see the big bins of mixed nuts still in their shells this time of year, but I also have a not so pleasant feeling towards nuts since my daughter is allergic. I guess my point is, memories sort of make themselves. You don’t have to worry with repeating them, or planning them, just enjoy what you are doing and your family will remember. I think my daughter will definitely remember asking for pomegranates every day! Just stay away from the allergens!!

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