At some point our family fell out of the usual Thanksgiving routine. We got tired of turkey. Stuffing. That danged green bean casserole and the "mystery Jello mold" desserts. In fact, the whole business of cooking the typical Thanksgiving meal got old.
Picking was also about tending a friendship, sustaining the strong parts and feeling tenderly for the weaker places. Nothing was off-limits, in that easy way that lifelong friends have with one another.
It's the holidays, a time for so much joy, laughter, relaxation, hot cocoa with marshmallows and also... loss. One of my favorite quotes about loss is by Kahlil Gibran: "The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain." I find this is never as true as holiday time.
Research has shown that the holidays are the richest opportunities we have for performing family rituals. These family experiences are master keys to making our families, our children and ourselves more resilient.