Every year, my sister makes a Christmas cake. That’s our family tradition. This year my sister decided she couldn’t make a Christmas cake – the person who loved it the most is no longer with us.
That’s the thing about Christmas – the juxtaposition of joy and pain, family and lonely, bounty and empty, gain and loss. Honestly, until this year I was complacent – I’d never lost enough to be able to understand loss. Now I do.
How do I, how do any of us, balance celebration and desolation? How do we do what we did before when nothing is as it was before? What do those old family traditions mean when the family members who made those traditions are no longer there?
We need to remember that the loss is transitory, we will meet again. In this lifetime, we need to find a way to keep on loving, giving, laughing, inspiring, living – through Christmas (and because living is for life, not just for Christmas) into the new year and for the rest of our lives. Let’s make our lives the celebration.
Every year, I go through angst about the fact I love cake and I love Christmas but I don’t love Christmas cake. This year, I remembered that last year I made a huge vegan carrot cake with lemon frosting and everyone loved it. For now, that will be our new tradition.