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Hi.

Welcome! I’m Suzanne, the author and photographer of this blog. I hope what you find here informs and inspires you, and brings beauty and calm to your day.

Do you play with Christmas traditions?

Do you play with Christmas traditions?

I've been thinking a lot about Christmas, how we celebrate it and the traditions we adopt.

Specifically, the expectation to gather with extended family whether you love being around each other or not. For some, this is the most special part of the season, the getting together and making merry. For others, it's the thing they dread the most.

Would it be so wrong to go in the opposite direction, avoid the gatherings and instead hunker down? Would it be too radical to opt out of all the busyness and instead slow down, enter a little hibernation and get quiet so as to contemplate deeper messages of the season?

And what about the food we eat? Nothing wrong with a good turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce and plum pudding. All delicious stuff! But I was thinking the other day, why not serve up a menu of Middle Eastern fare. After all, that's the part of the world Jesus is from. I'm thinking roast chicken, tabbouleh, and hummus, and for dessert, halva.

We should inject a little Middle Eastern music into our playlists too. Along with Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls let's listen to music like this. And while we're at it, burn a little frankincense and myrrh.

Things to think about, especially if you're someone who likes to play with tradition and shake things up. By all means go ahead and stick with the usual script. But also feel free to go off script and do things your way.

I'm open to playing with Christmas menus and music, but I'm a northern dweller so there are some things I will forever associate with this time of the year: evergreens, red berries, pine cones and oranges,bells, wreaths, poinsettias and a box of beautiful chocolates, heavily scented trees strung with lights, snowmen, candles, stars and birch bark.

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snowmen, candles, stars and birch bark. I doubt my love of these things and my tradition of decorating our home with them will ever change. Unless, of course, I find myself someday living in a totally different part of the world.

Hunkering down

Hunkering down

Finding my Christmas groove

Finding my Christmas groove