A week after Thanksgiving and we are already into the month of December. Christmas is under three weeks away, and I feel like Tevye from “Fiddler on the Roof.”
A customer told me of his pumpkin pie left untouched on his holiday table. I asked him why he bought it and he said, “Pumpkin pie is traditional.” Reinwald’s Bakery in the month of December is a place of tradition. We bake our German cultural specialties especially our Christmas Stollen and German Christmas cookies. The Reinwald family favorite is the Spekulatius, a nut spice cookie that after you have a few will quickly find the bag empty and a quart of milk gone.
We are proud of our traditions. Then I see Jeff Bezos of Amazon who talks about breaking the traditional bonds of doing business. My son works for Amazon. Most businesses talk of innovation and refusing to be held captive to the past. Stores, and media by their coverage, encourage us to shop on Thanksgiving and create a sense of urgency to get up at 4am to acquire material things. I believe if you want to get up at 4am, come work at the bakery.
On the other hand I see tradition as the glue for our family. I also belong to the Huntington Historical Society because I believe understanding the past builds a stronger community. We act a certain way because of tradition. But I think of the waste of having pumpkin pie solely for the sake of tradition. In a larger sense think of unjust discrimination because of the past. The words smash, break, tear sound destructive. The words glue, build, create sound positive. Hence I feel like Tevye. What is the proper path to take? Should I say goodbye to pfferneusse and fruitcake? Tradition?
I was asking these questions the other night at dinner with friends. My buddy, being much wiser than me, gave his answer. He said. “As long as people own tradition its fine; it is when tradition owns you that problems arise.” A positive thought I guess is each of us has to decide what is important to us. How can you create and maintain a tradition that reinforces those things? Our hope at Reinwald’s Bakery is that our holiday cookies, candies, and cakes will help you have a heartwarming home where positive traditions will thrive.
Please enjoy this holiday season, limit the stress and devote time to what is really important to you.Rich Reinwald
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