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Editor's Letter

The holidays are going to be different this year. Many of our traditions have been deemed unsafe. Time for new traditions? It’s not bad to shake things up every now and then.

On Christmas Eve 1983, I gathered with my family at my parents’ home in Loudon County for two family traditions: steak dinner and midnight mass at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection. I felt a cold coming on and decided to skip the Christmas Day festivities with the extended family in Newport and instead spent the day on the sofa in my bungalow in Rocky Hill reading “A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole, which was a Christmas gift to myself.

I’m rarely alone during the holidays, but since then, I try to find some quiet time to read on Christmas Day. This year I’m going to catch up on the stack of “The New Yorker” magazines I haven’t had time to read this fall.

A few years ago my daughter Liz and I started a new Christmas dinner tradition. Bill was in Memphis visiting his family, so Liz and I, who both lived downtown, made plans to meet and eat “somewhere.” There are quite a few downtown restaurants open on Christmas Day now, but that year the only thing open was the buffet at the Crowne Plaza, which required reservations, so we decided to get in the car and head west on Kingston Pike, figuring we’d find something open. If all else failed, we reasoned “There’s always Waffle House.”

We drove through Sequoyah Hills and headed into Bearden--and there it was, one of our favorites: The Sitar. A new tradition! Because of schedules, we almost never get to have Christmas on December 25. Our motto is “Christmas is whenever it happens.” But, happily, if we’re free for Christmas dinner, you’ll find Liz and me at The Sitar. 


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