150 150 Next Level Event Design

Rituals, traditions, customs, there is something very special about them to me.  Since so many things in life are unexpected, I’ve always appreciated the few things you know to be consistent. I find at least some predictability comforting.

As long as I can remember, December was the time to bake Christmas treats.  When we were young, my siblings and I would eat the batter and dance around the kitchen while making a mess (sorry, Mom). In addition to our goodies, I always looked forward to the baskets, tins, and cakes, which seemed to magically appear at our house from family and friends.  There were some deliveries that I especially looked forward to because they had my seasonal favorites.

When I moved to Chicago, I brought the tradition with me (I hadn’t realized that it wasn’t a custom for everyone).  A neighbor recently told me that the first year I delivered cookies to her house, she laughed because I was new to the neighborhood.  It was obvious to her that I hadn’t figured out how things worked in my new community.  Apparently no one knocks on a stranger’s door with baked treats… Then after receiving cookies year after year she too started to look forward to them.

Once my son and I brought a tray of cookies to a Librarian who had been helpful to him.  Her eyes glazed over as she said, “you brought me cookies” and repeated it twice in a creepy voice.  It reminded me of the Bundt cake scene from the “Stepford Wives” movie.

Though I have not made the following into an annual tradition, my family has decided to make it their ritual to remind me about it regularly: One year I decided to make a Gingerbread House.  It turned out nice but it just seemed flat, boring and incomplete. To make the first creation come alive, I subsequently built a Church, Condo buildings, street signs, low-income housing, etc. I basically baked, designed and built until I ran out of room on the dining room table and people were concerned about my sanity (I’m not sure which one happened first).

Last month was so busy I didn’t have a chance to buy 5 pounds of butter, 10 pounds of flour, etc… and of course there were no cookies! Although it’s a lot of work, it’s more than just a pile of sweets.  It’s an opportunity to say “thank you for all that you do” or “I think enough of you to share my chocolate” and surprise someone.  Then I realized in lieu of a platter I could telepathically send messages of cheer and positive mojo…and / or I could just write about it in this blog.

I wish you a 2013 overflowing with opportunities and happiness.