I am missing my family like crazy right now.
And when I'm missing my family like crazy, the only thing that seems to help is blasting my Carpenters Christmas Pandora station (which is playing as I type!) and pretending it's Christmastime for a few hours. Right now, every single member of the immediate family is on the East Coast, far, far away from this vegan blogger, so I can use all the holiday spirit I can conjure up.
|Ma and I before our holiday baking session|
Three years ago, when I went vegan (about to celebrate the official V-birthday next month!), my family was wary of my choice, but only because they just didn't know how healthy, compassionate, and delicious vegan eating and living could be. But what makes my family so kiss-worthy is that they were open to my change and growth, and that openness led my sister and step-mom to go vegetarian and my mom, husband, mother-in-law, and brother to go vegan. Now, holidays are a breeze, because my brother, who never used to get involved with the cooking, is the one who bastes the Tofurky at the holidays! What was once a bit of a process - like showing my should-be-a-chef-she's-so-talented-at-cooking mama that vegan Christmas cookies were just as yummy as non-vegan ones - is now a beautiful, joy-filled tradition of making plant-based versions of the comfort and holiday foods we as kids grew up loving.
If you're a longtime supporter and reader of this blog, you know I'm big on traditions - especially the kind that lovingly evolve and shift as the years go by. For me, vegan living has redefined my traditions - since there is so much love, compassion, and kindness surrounding my every day, the traditions I create and celebrate also reflect that. More so than ever before.
|Our first vegan - and married - Thanksgiving in Brooklyn|
I've decided to get the holiday conversations going early. I challenge each and every one of you in the KMIV family to begin thinking of ways to cultivate vegan versions of the holiday traditions you've always loved celebrating. Whether it's removing the turkey from your table this Thanksgiving and making a veggie loaf or Tofurky instead, adorning your coffee table with vegan cookies and almondmilk for Santa on Christmas Eve, or making vegan latkes at your upcoming Hanukkah celebration, there are countless ways to appeal to your family with vegan goodies and still be a part of the holiday magic.
Which brings me to a holiday closer to us than the winter ones - Halloween. Creating vegan Halloween traditions can be so much fun for little ones! For our last Halloween in Brooklyn, Steve and I handed out Newman-O's and vegan candies on our stoop, and the kids loved them. Easy peasy!
What kind of traditions will you be veganizing this year? How will you add compassion to your holiday celebrations? Maybe this is your first holiday season living vegan, or maybe it's your tenth. Either way, it can't hurt to remind yourself of why it's so important to make cruelty-free traditions at this time of the year, and really any other time of the year too.
Let's share our kiss-worthy holiday ideas in the comments section below and get that compassionate ball rolling!