An empty nest

November 2018

When I was a child, I recall my complete dismay when my mother began to lament about the holidays. I could not believe that anyone could be even a little negative about all the gift-giving, shopping, decorating, baking and cooking.

I am a lot smarter today.

In the eyes of a child it all just seems to magically appear. For my mother, the reality was an extravaganza with not one, but two Christmas “eve dinners” (one meatless) and a great family gathering not just on the eve, but duplicated on Christmas day.

Yes, you read correctly. We consumed three full feasts in one 24-hour period. Beyond being a valid explanation for my love affair with food, it makes me giddy just to think back to the day when as kids, we had no care in the world. That included how many calories were on each plate.

While raising our own children, and in consideration of my sanity and waistline, our family agreed that one meatless dinner was more than enough on Christmas eve with turkey and the trimmings reserved for the big day. For a family that is used to an overwhelming amount of food, we consider this kind of a seasonal diet.

In our home there will only be one artificial tree (first time ever), minimal-but tasteful decorations, (a bit of a bonus as this will require a little shopping for new and updated décor) and shopping restricted to mostly gift cards.

Although neither of our children will be home for the holidays, they expressed their own dismay at this year’s changes. Somehow, I think of this as déjà vu.

Even during the holidays, we are evolving and accepting that nothing ever really stays the same. Some of this is good (no more two Christmas eve dinners) and some not so great, (families now are spread across Canada).

One thing for certain, it is definitely a time when we know that changing life-long traditions includes letting things just happen, and perhaps that is a change for the better.

Have the best holiday!

Sue Prodaniuk is a marketing, advertising and communications consultant. She can be reached at

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.