For me it started with my cranberry sauce. When I first made it I gave it to family and a circle of close friends. Several people sang its praises, so I gave it to them the following year, and the next, and the next...and for some it became a part of their holiday tradition. The bonus for me is that it keeps me connected, in a very special way, with some very nice people. Good food tends to do that. I can't think of a better way to bring people together than over a great meal, so when you can't be with someone special why not send them something they will enjoy, something that brings you a little bit closer in spirit.
Every Thanksgiving I send, or hand deliver, a jar of cranberry sauce to my hairdresser in New York City. I met her about 20 years ago and stop in for a cut from time to time. About 10 years ago I brought her a jar and she just loved it, so if I'm in NY for Thanksgiving I bring her some, if not, I pop it in the mail. Marie is originally from Haiti and has really embraced the Thanksgiving holiday. Every year I receive a lovely note telling me how much she appreciates it, and how it's become such a special part of her family celebration. She often sends me lovely hair care products in return, too, so this is where the 'what goes around comes around' bit comes into play. I also think she gives me an extra special hair cut once I am fortunate enough to sit in her chair again, but more importantly we have become friends, and that's what I cherish most.
I have two local friends (fellow foodies) who are on the list. I usually leave their jars on my front porch as we're all busy running around at the last minute. This year I came home to find this wonderful loaf of sunflower bread from one:
And this exquisite chocolate log was delivered on Christmas Eve from the other:
Another friend in Connecticut sends her delicious homemade pumpkin bread. So as I am savoring these delicious treats, I am also feeling a very special connection to these people who've touched my life. Knowing that someone has taken the time to make something by hand has a way of doing that. Now that I think of it, many of my closest friends have come to me through our shared love of good food, so what a perfect way to honor that gift of friendship.