Think about what you love about the holidays – knowing our readers, it most likely has something to do with having everyone together and enjoying their company. It’s that feeling of ‘togetherness’ that is, despite rampant commercialism, the true spirit of the holidays. Yes – the sheer number of unique views in a closed-in space could cause some discontentment. However, something else that becomes obvious quickly is the fact that comfort food can not only satisfy, but it can foster unity as you all reminisce about eating Grandma’s ancient ham recipe or share how Grandpa’s spiced beets and veggies are now your own family’s favorite winter treat. And you can start new food traditions too! Make your own recipe for holiday happiness with a pinch of your uncle's zeppole, a dash of your tia's re-imagined flan, and some comedic stories to taste.
When all of the focus is on current events, what new gadgets are out, or how much you spent per person, sometimes it’s easy to forget to be thankful for the things that not everyone has – like a warm meal that’s enough to stuff everyone or even a family to share it with. This holiday break, before you jump into an argument or slip into a coma of food and nostalgia, perhaps you can suggest that next year everyone focus on happy memories and each other’s company – maybe even, you can suggest that, as gifts, everyone bring a dish or two for a potluck and that instead of technology and toys, they exchange sustenance and stories. It may be hard to be the one to suggest it (and you may not be too popular with the kids), but we think your friends and family will be grateful you did. It will take the pressure of unnecessary gifting off of everyone’s shoulders so they can finally enjoy the holiday for what it should be: time with those you can’t imagine being without. Relationships like those must be cultivated and what brings people together better than sharing a bite?
Happy Holidays and Fantastic Feasting!