The holidays are approaching and you know what that means: pie! Maybe that sounds like a joke, but eating pie (and most holiday foods) is a perfect example of a ritual at home. And the more you practice them, the richer these rituals become.
For most of us, having a slice (or three) of holiday pie is a touchstone that tells us it's time to celebrate. Everything about pie — recipes passed-down from grandmothers, mixing ingredients and rolling out dough, its smell and, of course, taste — engages our senses and unearths emotions and memories of past pie-eating times of year. My holiday order is a "half-and-half" pumpkin and pecan with whipped cream followed by another pecan chaser later that night (I have to, it's my ritual!) and I'm guessing that most of you have similar, specific orders that you've perfected over and over again.
Maybe you, like me, eat your pie with the same special-occasion silver that you've used your entire life and off fancy china plates, passed down for generations. Maybe the traditions you embrace are based on your religious, cultural and family background or maybe they're habits that you came up with all on your own. Both ways are valid. Both recognize that the repetition of the ritual itself is just as important as what you choose to do. Not just eating the pie but anticipating the pie and making the pie and sharing the pie with the people you love.
If you're looking forward to your own well-ingrained holiday rituals this year, great! If you're ready to set out on your own and make some new ones, fantastic. The more you welcome and honor your own rituals, the happier and more memorable your holidays will be.