Family traditions are something rife in my family... well thanks to ME! haha I believe there is much more to them than, putting up a real tree we've bought and CARRIED HOME, naming it a one syllable B name, having a non-functional train sitting beneath it.... it's the memories, the time together and the symbolism of 'that time of year'.
My brothers and sisters (all 4 of them..!) roll their eyes, laugh at me and pretend to hate them. Secretly, they love them as much as me!
So, what is a tradition?
According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, it is "a belief, principle, or way of acting that people in a particular society or group have continued to follow for a long time, or all of these beliefs, etc. in a particular society or group"
No where does it state they are law, rule or concrete... Beliefs can change. Behaviour can change. Therefore, so can traditions. In life, I believe if it doesn't serve you or make you happy any more CHANGE IT. Nothing is set it stone.
I hear of friends and family complaining and even in my professional life colleagues saying "But, it's always been done that way" or "I hate it but that's what we do. It's tradition, we have to."
Just because it's been 'the way' things are done over time, doesn't mean they are right, good or the best way! Open-minded thinking and a positive approach to any situation is always more likely to result in a mutually beneficial outcome - in my experience. A new way, may just be a better way... you never know.
Even over the last few years "traditions" in our family have changed - we no longer have cake for breakfast on our Birthdays, we now have a REAL Christmas tree, even the flavour of the bricks of our 'Gingerbread' house change over time. What has remained consistent, a tradition if you like, is spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day together in some capacity and for some length of time - it no longer matters, morning, night, afternoon, 1 hour, 10 hours.. we all agree on the "quality time" and the real essence of our family traditions.
SO this year over the holiday period, make your own traditions... and I challenge you to change the ones that no longer serve you or make you happy!
As the holidays are a time for sharing.. here is our family White Christmas recipe (which will form the roof and some of the window frames of this year's "Gingerbread House")
OUR FAMILY WHITE CHRISTMAS SLICE
Serves 24 (or one roof and window frames ha ha)
1 Cup powdered milk
1 Cup rice bubbles
1 Cup icing sugar
1/2 Cup desiccated coconut
1 Cup mixed dried fruit (we use dried cranberries, blueberries, apricots, goji berries, figs and sometimes chopped up almonds .. use your imagination here - chuck in what you like! .. we hate anything glaced haha)
250g Cohpa, melted and cooled off
1 teaspoons vanilla extract (we like the little vanilla bean specks.. but essence is fine, just pour a bit more in!!)
Line a baking tray with baking paper, making sure it comes up the sides. We used different trays depending on the thickness we want.
Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the melted Copha and vanilla and mix together.
Pour the mixture into the baking tray and press evenly into the tray (make sure you get right to the corners)
Chill in the refrigerator until set and firm (2 hours should do it)
Cut into bricks or whatever shape you like!
*warning.. seriously moreish...
Happy holidays and even Happier Eating x