Inside Yankee: Traditions Old and New

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For any reader who feels that traditions no longer matter, that anything our parents or grandparents cherished should be cast aside, well, it’s possible that this issue may not be for you. These pages are soaked with tradition, I won’t apologize about that — but here’s the thing: The beauty of traditions is that they can always change, become new even as they reassure us with the familiar.

Take, for instance, Boston Ballet’s annual Nutcracker. There are people who see this beautiful performance every year, yet each time come away with memories unlike any other. Enter our “One Enchanted Evening” feature and see whether you don’t feel the tug to go and see it once again, or maybe for the first time.

Whatever you may be planning to serve this holiday season, I trust you’ll find Annie B. Copps’ touches to old favorites in “Talking Turkey” to be just what you’re hoping for. And if you think one pumpkin pie is just like any other, sample a bite from our featured recipe, with its hint of maple syrup, courtesy of pastry chef Erika Bruce. When one of her fruitcakes appeared at a recent editorial meeting, we all agreed that one much-maligned tradition has never tasted fresher or better. This confection is made to be savored and presented as a gift — and Matthew Mead shows you just how to showcase your baked goods for friends and family (p. 68).

Yes, there are still places where Christmas goes deeper than malls and electronic gadgets. “O Little Towns of Vermont” takes you to a region where the small-town rituals of the season aren’t bound by any religious faith, but by faith in one another, in one’s neighbors, in the laughter, beauty, and joy in being together when the cold settles in and you need the warmth of friends.

Our annual “Angels Among Us” feature again spotlights the unselfishness of ordinary people who are making huge differences in the lives of people around them. This is now Yankee‘s own holiday-issue tradition, and we hope that you, our readers, will write and tell us of angels you know. Wherever you are, whatever traditions you honor during these coming days, know that everyone at Yankee welcomes you to our words and photos.


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