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!