The winter months give us many opportunities to establish traditions that can last for generations. The repetition of traditions and rituals helps us grow roots; it allows us to take part in the legacy spanning many generations. When we practice a tradition, we are in fact linking ourselves to the chain of human history, providing a continuation of the kind of life that humans have lived since the beginning of civilization.
Our family traditions begin when we decorate the Christmas tree. I make hot toddies (see recipe below) and my mother's Christmas sugar cookies. I play a variety of Christmas music, including jazz renditions sung by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, and classical pieces by Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo. For my family, this night represents the beginning of winter holiday festivities. Together we transform the house, and when we're finished, we find ourselves surrounded by the magical beauty of the holidays.
For the hot toddie recipe, as well as the rest of this article, please visit the new location of Rosanna's Table at rosannastable.blogspot.com