Friday, September 29, 2017


ID you know that certain types of rituals -- that is, certain deliberately-created activities repeated on a regular basis -- can foster greater feelings of calm and happiness? Rituals can be simple, like putting on classical music and lighting candles before a meal (the way my auntie does), or more complex, like baking saffron-and-raisin-studded lussekatter for St. Lucia Day (the way my grandparents did). The regular repetition of a well-loved ritual or tradition creates something to be depended on in an otherwise chaotic world -- which is probably why rituals help us feel calm and happy.

One of our family-specific traditions was instigated by Captain Midnight, quite a few years ago. He got up early on the Saturday morning before our church's semiannual General Conference, went into the kitchen and started making a big hot breakfast. Because Conference is usually broadcast on television and the Internet, it's a rare chance to curl up on the couch and experience a church meeting in pajamas. The combination of spiritual sustenance and literal breakfast spread made getting up to watch Conference a delight, and CM has taken it on himself to make Conference breakfast twice a year.

So if you stroll by our house tomorrow morning and hear the pleasant clanging of pots and pans, don't be alarmed. We're just engaging in a family ritual. A tasty, tasty ritual.

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