Overwhelming demands over the holidays can make us forget the simple things. Sometimes it’s just hard to give thanks.
I’m amazed that the most grateful individuals have often lived lives of loss and suffering. They choose to maintain a grateful outlook on life. They take time for the warm apple pie. They are grateful despite the circumstances.
I work with folks whose parents came from the shores of Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Germany, North Africa and Asia. They came with nothing but the clothes on their backs, a fierce work ethic and the character that comes from suffering.
We learn from family gatherings the etiquette of sharing food, the tales of immigration, reflections of the past. Food tells our stories; traditions and customs add to the rhythm of life.
Traditions help bond us to the ones we love; they create positive memories for children even when, in the moment, our children may prefer to stare at a smartphone. One family tradition this time of year, in our home, is the gathering of ingredients, mixing the spices with porter for the spice cake pudding, a month before the holidays. The sights, smells and routine can give us the reassurance that all is well. We crave the warmth and promise that come with customs.
It has been said that gratitude is simply too good to be left at the Thanksgiving table. Cheers to that. What is the tradition in your home? What dish will your family remember you by?
Margaret Wachholz is the campus marketing director at Woodbury Senior Living. In her column, she shares observations and wisdom about aging and senior living in our community.