Cooking wasn’t espoused by my mom. It was a chore. My grandmother lived far away so few recipes were ever shared.  Lard versus butter…not a pie crust-debate that ever entered my head.

So why the apple-pie fetish especially when celebrating?

You can find the answer in four words: nurture, whimsy, continuity and ritual.


When kids were younger we prepared an apple-pie for my husband’s birthday- no frosted cake for this dad. Using an apple slicer, my son twirled the handle, “skinning the beasts”.  My daughter delicately carved small holes in the crust for steam to escape.  A wonderful aroma of sugar and cinnamon flooded house as we expressed our love together.  

Gifts come in many shapes.  Creating together, even if it’s just a simple task, such as setting a table, allows us to nurture one another.

What activities might nurture you and your community this month?


A few years back a friend confessed that his family always ate pie for breakfast on December 12th, honoring St. Nikolas.  My family immediately added this tradition to our regime.

Eating pie for breakfast added whimsey to the day.  It’s a happy and some might say slightly naughty habit!

How might you add whimsy to your December days?


I make one apple pie and don’t alter the recipe. What’s significant is that I DON’T WANT TO CHANGE ANYTHING, not because the recipe is particularly perfect.

Pie making is like throwing an anchor in a sea with every-changing waves. While life often demands constant adaption, when making a pie or eating a slice, I visit an anchored place. This pie-making tradition links me to the past, provides pleasure in the present and builds consistent memories with my community.

When traveling I consider other rituals (such as reading a favorite quote and or making a heart-felt toast at the table). Or I buy the pie! 

Consider how to add more continuity in your personal and professional relationships this month!  


Feel smooth silky flour on your finger tips;

Slice up the chilled butter and add to the bowl;

Cut, swish, cut, swish, cut…crumble, crumble, crumble…the mixture is ready for cold water;  

Sprinkle. One tablespoon at a time; 

Quick now. Ingredients pushed together; Fork pushing; Combine and shape; Chill.

Repeat…every time you make a pie crust… Ritual.

Rituals anchor us. During busy and turbulent times, daily routines, bolster our psyches. Nothing fancy is required.

Just notice more. Notice and relish those daily tasks. Repeat.

Wishing you nurture, whimsy, continuity and ritual in your celebrations now and in the years ahead!

PS Many of us celebrate a holiday and or life’s passages through travel! We ditch the cooking and travel away. This is our passion! Contact us ( for your next Celebration Travel trip!

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