The holiday season is one of my favorite and most dreaded times of the year. I love cooking and sharing healthful food with my friends and family, snuggling up in a ton of blankets, making special gifts from the heart, and allowing myself to gorge on delicious food. But, the intense amount of death (on our dinner plates) and the over-consumed, wasteful, buying frenzy of Christmas brings my energy down just a bit.
It’s a challenging time for me because my family doesn’t share the same values or concerns when it comes to diet, lifestyle, politics, everything really. Since I went vegan 7 years ago, going home for the holidays has been a weird experience. Many years I would bring my own vegan traditional feast, but no one would eat my food and ended up with leftovers for weeks. Then for many years after that I would just get Thai food takeout to bring with me. Then I stuck out like a sore thumb and couldn’t take part in the communal sharing of the holidays. So, now I’ve decided that I will not spend the holidays with my family, but stay in Los Angeles to share it with my friends and spiritual community (which feels more like family anyways).
I am going home the first week of December to see the fam in an environment not built around food. This is better for us both. They don’t have to listen to me nag about their diets and I don’t have to watch them stuff their faces and clog their arteries. It’s just so sad when I go home (back to Texas), because they continue to get sicker with waistlines expanding, and even though I’m a shining example on how to live a healthy, vibrant life, they don’t make changes in their life. I know everyone has to find their own way, and I hope every time they see me a seed gets planted in their mind that they to0 can live a blissful, healthy life free of physical suffering and mental anguish.