Listen to the audio recording of this message.
Dear Holiday Child/Friend/Sibling/Loved One,
I know it’s hard right now, what with the holidays and all the cheer, and feeling left out, so I wanted to welcome you home. One of my favorite holiday memories as a child was my great-grandmother’s tin filled with home made cookies; traditional German recipes like springerles and specuulas, passed down through our family along with the cookie boards and presses. It was a rare holiday when that giant tin had any cookies left at the end of our three hour trip home from visiting relatives.
Much has changed since those days gone by-I’ve lost my father to cancer and my sister to suicide-but the cookie recipes stay the same, now prepared by me and my own family. You’ve changed, too; grown into a wonderful, caring person who has faced challenges and difficulties that I cannot imagine. You’ll change more as the years go by, and things will get better, but for right now, let’s appreciate today and sharing the holidays.
Today, I describe myself as an atheist, but I recognize the importance of traditions and enjoy our family traditions. Most years we’ll get out a menorah and light the candles to recognize our Jewish friends, and I’m sorry you didn’t get to play dreidel this year with us, but maybe next year when the holidays aren’t strung so far apart. My son’s birthday is on December 25th, so we often celebrate his birthday that day, and leave Christmas-type celebrations for on the solstice, December 21st this year. That day, we enjoy a roaring fire in the wood-stove, cookies, making and opening gifts, board games, a chocolate Yule log, and figgy pudding, among other things. We vary between having music and movies on as background noise; some years we want to be surrounded by the sounds of carols, other years it’s the Star Wars or Lord of the Rings series. The important thing is to be together, and share our love. Before bed, there must be at least one reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Dear soul, I know this is a digital space, and the best that I can do is send a virtual hug, but know this-the world is better with you in it. The trick is that you’ll never know for sure unless you stick with it. I’m as sure as the day is long that someday you’ll have your own family-chosen or otherwise-with whom you can share some of your own traditions. Maybe some of what you’ll read here will be a part of your traditions, maybe it won’t. The important thing is to know that you are loved, and welcome in my heart, any time you want to stop by this space. Have a wonderful holiday, however you celebrate.
Doctor Mama Lisa