on traditions

– Posted in: other, with the ladies, yoga

we love christmas cookie

Dear readers, my heart is broken for a sweet and supportive bloggy friend who lost her brother this past week. I think I speak for everyone in the blog world when I say that our connections transcend virtually, and so when one hurts, we all hurt. Please visit Kir at her blog or on Twitter and send some well-wishes, if you could. Many, many thanks.


From my corner in New Jersey, I have been been trying to keep myself grounded and balanced this holiday season. I imagine this is a struggle for many as Christmas looms closer, but I’ve found ways to reflect and give thanks for the many blessings in my life. The shopping is almost finished (hooray for the internet); now my focus is on my daily meditation, working out and yoga, taking more walks with Penelope, and connecting with my writing and my friends.

A recent holiday dinner with three of my girlfriends in Hoboken, NJ, reminded me of something that I hold so incredibly dear and close to my heart: tradition. The four of us have been through some rather large hurdles over the past few years–including career shifts, relationship shuffles, and weddings–but our holiday dinner has thankfully remained intact. And this year we decided to take it back to where it first started: a small and festive sushi restaurant in the birth place of Frank Sinatra. To laugh in the company of good girlfriends and fine wine is a luxury I will never take for granted.

This season also reminds me of another tradition that was passed down from my Oma in Germany–the art of baking decadent Christmas cookies. Though half a world separated us, my Oma’s presence was very much with us when my mom would gather supplies in the kitchen and we baked one tin of treats after another. The smells of the season would fill every room in the house. Just the other day that memory flickered and I realized it had been years since we have baked together. I don’t know those recipes by heart and I have no idea where those faded pages are even located. It’s a tradition I would love to pick up again, and perhaps even pass down to my own children one day.

I watched a recent episode of Bethenny (don’t judge) where Food Network personality Sunny Anderson gave the host a red plate. This red plate, she said, was symbol of achievement and you could eat on it if you had done something noteworthy or special that day. Aced an exam? Red plate. Got a promotion? Red plate. Though the idea seemed a bit hokey initially, the guest explained that her daughter understands the importance of the gesture and appreciates the days she gets to eat on the special plate.

What about you? Do you have any traditions in your home that you celebrate??


Also, you may have noticed a new button in my advertising sidebar. One of my extremely talented friends has started an NYC-based fashion company with a few girls entitled Pop Crazy Clothing. They specialize in clothing that looks fresh off the runway and off the backs of your favorite celebrities. Chic, simple, sophisticated–these looks would be perfect for your inner fashionista or for a friend this holiday season. Enjoy!


7 Comments… add one

Kimberly December 11, 2013, 7:21 PM

We have a few traditions in our little abode. My favorite: my boys go shopping for my Christmas gift with my bestie. Even though one of them has a driver’s license, they still want that time with her. It’s precious. Wonder if they’ll continue it as adults?
Kimberly´s last blog post ..Taking Stock: Blessings

Blond Duck December 11, 2013, 10:20 PM

Did your grandma make Spritz cookies or German potato candy?
Blond Duck´s last blog post ..The Cheesecake Queen Giveaway

Rachel Cotterill December 12, 2013, 2:22 AM

I quite like the red plate idea – except I’d be claiming it for things like “got out of bed with less than an hour of procrastinating”… ;-)

We haven’t really got any Christmas traditions yet – we never seem to do the same thing two years in a row! I’m going to think about that, though. Food, as always, will be central…
Rachel Cotterill´s last blog post ..Spiced Nuts & Seeds

catherine gacad December 12, 2013, 4:33 PM

charlotte, i was so sorry to hear about your blogging friend’s loss.

i didn’t grow up with many christmas traditions, but definitely want to start a slew of them when the baby comes. it’s so funny, though, because my husband is traveling for work for half of the month and i think it’s a waste to decorate, so we decided no tree, no decorations, nothing really. we are so boring! hopefully we will kick it up next year!
catherine gacad´s last blog post ..I’ve Been Poisoned

Shawn @ Fruity 'N' Nutty December 12, 2013, 8:38 PM

So sorry about your friend’s loss.

Those sound like some great traditions to have. Maintaining friendships is certainly not the easiest task in the world and you’re truly lucky to have such close and great ones!

Happy holiday to you!
Shawn @ Fruity ‘N’ Nutty´s last blog post ..Feeling Pretty Marvelous

Elizabeth December 14, 2013, 7:44 AM

LOVE the red plate idea! I SO want to start this with my girl! Thanks for sharing.
Elizabeth´s last blog post ..The Choir Needs Every Voice

Karen Peterson December 17, 2013, 8:12 AM

I love holiday traditions. I’m trying to remember why I thought it would be such a great idea to give them up this year for my trek to Central America. At least they’ll be that much sweeter next year.
Karen Peterson´s last blog post ..I would walk 3,294,955 miles and it would have taken less time to get here.

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