“Gathering.” We use the word in songs, in prayers, for special occasions, as a legal term, to describe a collection, a coming together, a group of people, to assemble… “Gathering” implies purpose, intention. When used as a verb, it is always in present tense – happening right now.
“Holiday Gatherings” are certainly happening now! There is the gathering of decorations to put out, the gather of lists to fulfill, even gathering our thoughts to share in a holiday card. Most of us will spend time gathering of our “tribe” – friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. Some will choose to spend time sharing with strangers who have no “tribe” to be with.
The intention behind these gatherings is good will, to show thankfulness for those around us and share the blessings that we’ve received in the past year. Sometimes, it’s not so easy to find “good will” for everyone in our “tribe,” but there is at least an effort to lay aside any “ill-will” for the time being.
It seems through, there can be no ill-will when food is involved! When I was a girl, we celebrated Swedish Julotta with lutefisk, potatis korv, crem and pepparkakor cookies. My Jewish friends would share Challah bread, latkes, matzo balls and blintzes as they celebrated Hannukah. Our neighbors to the south enjoy tamales as part of their Noche Buena, along with empanadas, bunuelos and concha. Many other traditions include mince pie, fruit cake, wassail, Filipino Bibingka and more than 60 ways to enjoy eggnog!
Lots of good food can only lead to a good gathering! However you gather together to remember these holidays, I hope that you cherish good memories and create even more!