The aroma of freshly baked breads wafted through the air as I entered the SoNo Bakery. The mixture of dough, sugar and fruit reminded me instantly of Christmas. What is it about the smell of freshly baked goodies that triggers so many holiday memories? If Thanksgiving is all about a meal—in the formal, "sit-down" sense of the word—then Christmas is about the food. n What could be better than a holiday dessert like a Buche de Noel to bring to a party, or baking lemon bread for an elderly neighbor? How about spending a Saturday baking cookies knowing you'll save some for yourself? Food even becomes part of our decorating schemes (although I can never really get the candy canes to hang properly off our Christmas tree!). We have the Victorians to thank for most of our holiday traditions, including the focus on food. They thought homemade—and home-cooked—gifts would put the focus back on the family. Food becomes a simple gesture that connects us to a simpler time—and to one another.
During Christmas 1999, I was in the hospital recovering from surgery and unable to eat. My friend Lara found time to make me a homemade pasta dish that her grandmother would serve the children at Christmas. I will never forget the aroma that filled my hospital room as she opened this magical bowl of pasta. Perhaps it was because it was homemade, or perhaps it was her company or a pleasant break from the institutional gruel, but it was my first meal in weeks that I ate and truly enjoyed. It was a simple act that brought me back to the real world, away from my surroundings and connected to a better place.
In the same spirit of Lara's pasta, I encourage you to think about people in our communities who will not have a meal this holiday season. It is unconscionable to me that in an area of staggering wealth people go hungry. There is no need for guilt, only action. Write a check, donate to a canned food drive, make an extra meal, work a few hours in a soup kitchen. Or contact the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, which provides meals to 115 nonprofit organizations that feed the hungry in Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford and Wilton. Make me proud, dear readers, and show the power you have to connect to others. I hope your Christmas is filled with simple acts that help you feel connected.
Editor in Chief
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