I remember as a child looking forward to the holidays.
The anticipation would mount as Thanksgiving approached,
because I knew I'd be out of school and Christmas was
just around the corner. Seemed like it would take forever
to get there. I grew up in a military family (Air Force)
and lived abroad much of my youth. I got to see first
hand a few different types of Christmas celebrations.
The funniest was in Spain. They celebrate the Three
Kings and you place your shoes outside the front door
and they are filled with gifts by the next morning.
That was a hoot!
Anticipating Christmas was a ritual to me. I tried
to do everything right as it got closer -- even down
to leaving MILK and cookies. Little did I know I was
trying to kill Ol' Saint Nick with the milk! Maybe that's
why I didn't always get everything I asked for? I think
I'll teach my daughter to leave rice milk and vegan
The holidays approach much faster these days. I can't
understand why this is. Maybe it's the imagination factor?
As a kid you are constantly conjuring up all kinds of
images from what you hear and read. As an adult, you
know what it really is and don't pay as much attention
to them until they're practically here. Nevertheless,
they are still a wonderful time of the year. It's a
time for families to enjoy each other and to put aside
their differences. Unfortunately, this doesn't always
I was looking forward to the holidays this year more
so than the last few years. I was really excited to
see my parents and sister and share with them my newfound
lifestyle. I went out and bought all the ingredients
for a wonderful turkey-free Thanksgiving. I thought
I had clearly stated that I wasn't attending the usual
ritual of carving up the dead bird this year, but somewhere
down the line the communication got distorted. As I
was about to begin cooking up the vegan celebration,
I got a call from my mother. She was inquiring what
time we would make our presence? I happily exclaimed
that we would be there after the feeding frenzy. She
got trite with me and harshly asked me where I came
up with this concept. I calmly stated that I had done
some research after I was diagnosed with high blood
pressure and ran into the plethora of facts on why I
had it. I told her that I was sorry for the miscommunication
and that we would be there afterwards.
I NEVER WENT! I just couldn't bring myself to come
face to face with them after such a harsh confrontation.
My father was in the background laughing and ridiculing
me. That really took the wind out of me! I never made
the dinner, because I was too angry and hurt. I sent
my wife and daughter over and took myself to a movie.
Obviously my parents care more about consuming that
dead bird than about my feelings!
My attitude towards the holidays has changed where
it concerns my parents and my immediate family now.
I hope that one day we can all get along in a harmonious
way, but I am going to focus entirely on my wife and
daughter when it comes to the holidays from now on.
I believe by doing this I can find inner peace and I
can raise my daughter in a healthy environment and have
fun doing so. I will, however, try one last endeavor
this Christmas. I am going to put together a vegan care
basket and a few books as a gift to my parents. This
way they can be introduced to my lifestyle and sample
some wonderful products while getting a little education.
I will state clearly that this is not to force-feed
them the vegan way, but merely to give them a microscopic
view of what I am about. I am also considering hosting
the Christmas feast this season. This will be another
way to give them a chance to see what other types of
great tasting, nutritious, cruelty-free foods exist
that they are unaware of. If I can pull it off, it will
make the pain I felt on Thanksgiving valuable to me.
I'm a great cook, so I think it will work!
e x t e s s a y -
Copyright © 1998-2015 by Jo Stepaniak
All rights reserved.
Nothing on this web site may
be reproduced in any way
without express written permission from the copyright