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Redesigning Holidays to Fit Your Lifestyle

| 12/18/2017 9:34:00 AM


As an inventive and flexible artist, I am used to repurposing and redesigning things to fit my individual needs. Doing so in my arting and my gardening comes quite naturally. However, redesigning the holidays took a bit longer for me to achieve due to habit and tradition.

Our most recent redesign was a shift several years ago from celebrating Thanksgiving to honoring ThanksGaia. For the past 15 years or so, I have become more and more dissonant with this holiday tradition due to the growing divide I felt between what Thanksgiving has traditionally represented and how that narrative doesn’t square with accurate history.

However, I love gathering on that Thursday and sharing a meal of abundance with close friends (intentional family) and relatives. A dear friend felt a similar discomfort and suggested the renaming to ThanksGaia (Gaia—Greek Goddess of the Earth). As soon as I heard Eric’s suggestion, I was in. This name more fully affirms my beliefs and practices as our table is resplendent with food from our garden, both fresh and preserved.

Winter Solstice

Our ThanksGaia dinner includes the staples of a fresh, local or organic turkey; mashed potatoes (often from our garden); sweet potatoes (from our garden); the three sisters of squash (homegrown pumpkin), corn (cornbread with our own dried corn ground into meal), and beans (green beans sauteed in garlic from our garden); applesauce (made from the apples from our trees); mead (also from our fruit); and added this year, krautchi (fermented from our cabbage and other veggies). This helps create a meal that truly shows the abundance our Mother Earth has gifted us.

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