by Deb Cook Lewis
My family never had many holiday traditions when I was growing up. In fact, the holidays were always a little stressful for various reasons. But as an adult, I had a housemate whose family was steeped in holiday traditions of every kind, and she brought those when she relocated to Seattle to become my housemate. Since I really had no holiday traditions, I was willing to take on some of hers. That’s when I learned a great lesson about how some traditions are important to continue at any cost and others might need to be modified or even be left behind as times and needs change.
The one I remember so vividly that just didn’t work for us was the live Christmas tree. That sounded so romantic and Hallmark, if you know what I mean. But in reality, it was a disaster for us. Our animals knocked it over from every angle they could. I can’t begin to tell you how many needles a live tree has, but our carpet disappeared soon. And then there’s the discussion of the strings of lights, which is also tied to the discussion of the animals. So we ultimately decided that if one of our fathers was available to help manage the tree, we could be all in, but otherwise maybe not so much.
On the other hand, there were fabulous traditions related to food and holiday music which I continue to this day. These hold important memories for me, and although they’ve been modified over time, they are very much part of the holiday time for me despite the changes that have occurred throughout the years.
Here at ACB we’re also establishing some holiday traditions that are becoming important to many of our members. My ACB holiday actually begins with the Audio Description Awards Gala in November, continues to Friendsgiving, the holiday auction, the Communityathon and various events on ACB Media.
And beyond the holidays, ACB is exploring its traditions and processes through the work of the Voting Task Force. This committee (which needs a new name, I think) is asking members some pretty challenging questions about our business and governance traditions. Just as we treasure, modify, or move on from certain traditions and practices in our holidays, we will be making similar decisions that will impact the future of ACB.
It’s a good time for all of us to pause and reflect on what matters most and those things that have outlived themselves, or just need a facelift to fit the times and circumstances.
Regardless of where it all comes out, I truly wish the best for all of our members and friends through the holidays and into the coming year.