I miss Christmas (what's new?)

Snow is falling outside of my Brooklyn apartment window on this February morning. I'm sipping coffee with almond milk and a little pumpkin spice in it. My husband is sitting next to me as one of our cats, Gus, lays dreamily on the couch pillow. Steve has allowed me a luxury this morning - listening to Christmas music for a little bit before we update ourselves with the next episodes of Lost and Modern Family. In other words: Absolute bliss...

What is it about this time of year I love so much that I celebrate it all year round, you may be wondering?

Well, it's a million little things, I think. How family gets together and the world around us seems to disappear for a few days... how people open their hearts to others... how much care is put into what food we prepare for each holiday celebration. The music. The lights. The movies. The traditions. The snow (if we're lucky - and this year, we've been more than lucky!). The memories accounted for. How no matter what your life circumstances, everyone seems to be celebrating and preparing together. Did I mention the food?

All of this holiday dreaming has caused me to reflect about how traditions have changed since I went vegan over a year ago. If anything, traditions have deepened for me. What were once activities I enjoyed doing at the holidays - baking cookies, decorating the tree, making Christmas dinner - have now become events I hold dearly in my heart, because I have begun to make them unique to my own life journey. By adding my own twist to a time-honored tradition and sticking to it over the years, I will make my own time-honored traditions for my family to come. That's kind of awesome in my book.

Someone asked me yesterday when I told them I was vegan and my family wasn't, "So you're the only vegan at the dinner table?" And I replied back to them, "Well, actually, since going vegan, my mom has taken a month-long vegan pledge, my brother has cut down his meat and dairy intake, my sister went vegetarian for a year, and my husband went vegan." I hadn't even thought to mention that friends around me have become interested in adding vegan elements to their lives, Steve's mom has opened herself up to vegan cooking, and my blog has inspired people whom I've never met to make changes in their own lives. The ripple effect of my own personal decision has affected so many people, and that is a very sacred thing to me. Much like a new take on an old tradition.

I think for our world to change, people need be open to change within themselves. For that to happen, traditions should be honored yet malleable, hearts should be full yet open, and unconditional love should be present at all times. In defining my own life by a principle - to do the least amount of harm in my daily life and live vegan everyday - I have been able to take traditions that seemed set in stone and added myself to them. And as a lovely side effect of adding myself, I have added compassion, awareness, empathy, and openness. 

Our first vegan - and married - Thanksgiving.

Before going vegan, my husband once said that he couldn't imagine Thanksgiving dinner without turkey. And this past holiday, we managed to have a completely vegan holiday, and it was more delicious and more satisfying to me than possibly any other prior Thanksgiving. Because for the first time maybe ever, we managed to make it our tradition, rather than a tradition that was handed to us. 

My hope for everyone is that this year, in this new decade, we all will allow ourselves to grow, be more open than before, and look at traditions with new eyes. This doesn't lessen the meaning of what we've done before - if anything, it strengthens it. It causes us to remain present, grateful, and invested in our daily actions, our rituals, and our holiday celebrations. 

Even if that means listening to Christmas music in February.


Natalie Would said…
You truly have inspired people you've never met! What a great post! :)

Lindsay said…
Thanks Natalie!! :)
Lindsay said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
討厭fu said…
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Yoga With John said…
just found your blog... I'm in my 15'th year of vegan bliss. Thanks so much for your writing, I'll be sure to send my blog readers your way!

a great rescued chicken story:


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