Caroline Tison


The holidays: how traditional are you?

We made it through the predicted Mayan apocalypse and 2013 rolled in!  I am starting to feel a little partied out.  Am I the only one to feel like the week between Dec. 24 and Jan. 1 is one of the longest ones of the year?  So many celebration lunches, cocktail, dinners, and late nights. It always amazes me to see that each year we seem to pack so many outings in this one week.  I am hosting a dinner tonight for my family and that’s it for the holidays.

The tradition in the Tison family is such that we start off this holiday marathon week together with a dinner at my aunt’ house in Pointe-Claire Village. This is the house that my father and two aunts grew up in. There’s such nostalgia in this house and it’s my favourite dinner of the year. Then we gather again a week later, each year, to celebrate the New Year on Jan. 1.  Yes, I am a sucker for tradition. So my traditional recipe of rack of lamb has been marinating for 36 hours and the table is set.  Should be a good one!

We are a small family.  My brother and I have no cousins.  So our “big” family dinner consists of eight people (my parents, my brother, my spouse, my child, my two single aunts and myself).  We love getting together and are very close.  However, it will be strange tonight as one my aunts is sick today and cannot make the trek from downtown to Beaconsfield. I think it’s the first time in over 30 years that a member of the family is missing the Jan. 1st dinner. (Andrée, we will be thinking about you and you will be missed!).

The only celebration that turns out to be nontraditional for me is the New Year ’s Eve party.  Each year, we end up doing something different.  Even the people that we celebrate the ringing of the new year with change each year.  (Thank you again Danny for that gastronomical dinner last night!  Wow! My taste buds are still reeling!)

Tomorrow is traditionally when I spend a few precious hours by myself to set my personal goals and review my vision board for the year.

What about you? What traditions do you follow each year around this time of the year?

Here’s to wishing you a year filled with good health and prosperity.


  1. By Rhonda Massad

    Hi Caroline,
    Tradition is something that we adhere to in our house as well. But for us it’s not about location, it’s about the meal itself. In recent years my brother has taken over the Christmas day dinner where my family gathers together for the carving of the turkey. For us the tradition lies in the gravy. My grandmother, Nana, spent years teaching me how to make the gravy. She would take the drippings from the turkey and her homemade broth and combine them with flour and love and come up with the most delicious gravy. A few years ago I became gluten free so the flour in the gravy needed to be substituted for corn flour. We now use a millet bread for the stuffing, it is amazing. The traditional gravy baton was passed on to me when Nana passed away some years ago. I consider it a successful meal if my gravy tastes like Nana’s. Traditions help us remember those that we love, she may have passed on but she will never be forgotten.
    I think i may take on one of your traditions and set up a vision board. I like the idea.
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful and healthy new year. See you soon my friend!

    • By Caroline Tison

      Rhonda, I am salivating! Maybe a few of us, that are also gluten-free eaters, would love your recipe. Please do share! Have a GREAT year and see you soon!

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