It Might Be Crazy But Its My Crazy
There’s something incredibly sweet about coming home for the holidays after you’ve been away for awhile. Even though things are crazy, it’s all good because it’s your crazy.
Crazy for my husband and I this year involved flying into Toronto at 6:30 am Christmas day and then being wonderfully caught up in multiple family celebrations over three days that spread from Mississauga to Niagara and back again.
All was well but not necessarily calm. But, it was certainly chaotic and fun.
While many traditions remained the same, there were new and interesting twists that enhanced the old. It also struck me that our family experiences parallel the trends being experienced in our broader communities.
For instance, we’re hearing a lot these days about increasing cultural diversity. So in our family while we’ve typically celebrated our Ukrainian roots with a dinner that included pierogies, cabbage rolls, and meat on a stick, this year we also welcomed my Hungarian sister-in-law’s delicious káposzta. My niece just returned from a semester of law school in Dublin with Guinness in hand, and my brother’s stepson’s girlfriend (what can I say, it is a complicated family) also came to visit from Venezuela. While she did explain some of the customs of their country, her contribution to the meal was actually some tasty and beautifully executed sushi that took her and the boyfriend over three hours to make.
Along with the changing ethnic diversity in our communities, we can also expect an aging population as people live longer and retire earlier. As the result of our discussions with my father we realized that his retirement from General Motors at the age of 58 was over 27 years ago. A couple of family members also discussed their upcoming retirement plans. As such, they will be part of a significant wave of boomers who are beginning to retire who will have time and experience to share. We all need to figure out how to support as well as tap this valuable resource.
Technology was also a big factor in our Christmas. My mother bought her partner Joe an iPhone for Christmas and my nephews literally jumped for joy upon opening their new Wii station. I had also had a very informative conversation with my nephew about his favourite apps for iPhones that resulted in me downloading a number of new ones for my own phone.
Increasing diversity, an aging population, and more and more technology are significant trends we need to accommodate in our lives and our communities. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean throwing out all of our traditions and what has worked over the years. We can best sort and balance tradition and trends by having a clear handle on our values and priorities. While that might mean there will always be traditional turkey, that’s not to say we can’t experiment with new desserts.Posted on 12-27-10
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