Few things can inspire that whole feeling in me like the many traditions of Christmas. From seeing the first Christmas lights on the street to tasting that first slice of pumpkin pie of the season, the pleasures of the holidays are immense. Here are some of the very best Christmas traditions, if i do say so myself.
Music rings in the holiday season on November 1 for me. Two months of Christmas is not enough, but I make sure to have at least that every year. I make a play list of my very favorite Christmas songs for a foolproof pick-me-up, and I also keep a play list of all the holiday music I own. Music that’s my very favorite at Christmastime includes all of Olivia Newton-John’s Christmas songs (especially the ones from her latest Christmas album “Christmas Wish”), the Carpenters Christmas albums, “Hands” (the holiday mix) by Jewel, “My Grown-Up Christmas List” by Amy Grant, and “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”
“In my dreams, I see a kinder world,” sings Olivia Newton-John in “Christmas Never Felt Like This.” That sentiment is somehow echoed throughout the holidays, as I give thanks for all my blessings. One of the great ways to make a difference that will ricochet is to choose Tofurky over turkey. One meal is not worth an animal’s entire life. I have been a vegetarian since I was a kid, so I was so happy to discover the incredible taste that is Tofurky. Turtle Island Foods, Inc. even sells a convenient holiday feast package that has a Tofurky roast, and I also try to buy some sliced Tofurky to enjoy sandwiches with after the big day.
An important tradition is to take it one step further, though. Farm Sanctuary has an Adopt-a-Turkey project, one of my very favorite traditions of the season. Give thanks for your own life and its blessings by saving a life of a turkey. It’s one of the great compassionate traditions that can give you a good feeling in your heart all year. You even receive an adoption certificate in your name, which makes a much better centerpiece for the table than a decaying, murdered bird. Instead, you can know that one runs free because of you. Talk about bringing happy to Christmas!
Reminiscing with the ghost of Christmas past is also important to me during the holidays. I have lost too many people that I have loved, and it’s important to keep their memories alive. Marta, my spectacular dog, is someone that I remember with an eternal love every day. I had the good fortune of spending twelve Christmases with the most amazing dog that every walked the face of the earth, and I have lots of beautiful photographs of her at Christmas, thanks to my mom being a fabulous photographer. I miss all the Christmases spent with my family, as it’s hard to get home every year now. Keeping in mind the best Christmas memories I have energizes and inspires me to make newer fantastic memories as well.