SKIING, HOLIDAYS, AND HAMBURGERS ON CHANGING SEASONS AND TRADITIONS
In past editions of this newsletter, I’ve talked about some of my memories from growing up on the East Coast, especially concerning my nostalgia for holidays like the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. But if there’s one thing I don’t miss about my Pennsylvanian homeland, it’s the snow. It can keep its “winter wonderlands” and “one-horse open sleighs” — I’ll take sunshine and palm trees any day of the week. Of course, this wasn’t always my attitude. Believe it or not, I used to be quite the avid skier. The first time I went up as a young man, I didn’t think I’d ever do it again. I made the mistake of trying night skiing first, and the iced snow may as well have been concrete. I’ve never been more sore than I was after that night of slipping, sliding, and crashing down the mountain. Fortunately, some friends in law school brought me back into the sport. But really, it was moving out west that solidified my love of skiing. From the winding Alpine runs at Steamboat to the powdery heights of Sun Valley, my wife and I have explored a lot of the amazing skiing this part of the country has to offer. In fact, we started researching where we wanted to go next as early as October! Part of me misses those days, but after our daughters were born, having a warm, relaxing holiday season became more important. In our household, we celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas. It was important to my wife and me that we raise our kids to have, above all else,
good morals and a respect for their shared heritage. Lighting the menorah and decorating our tree (some years at the same time) became our own Kanter family tradition. I preferred to take on the role of Santa Claus to my old December role of “The Hamburger King.” Not to be confused with any fast-food royalty, “The Hamburger King” is the title my siblings gave me when I was old enough to cook dinner during the holiday rush. You see, my father ran a clothing store, so between Thanksgiving and
hands were on deck. Our whole family would work well into the night, taking care of all those last-minute holiday shoppers in an era before Amazon and same-day shipping. We then, as a family, would celebrate the store closing by going out to dinner. While it was a different sort of experience from the holiday classics you may be familiar with, I’m certainly grateful for those hectic, hamburger-filled holidays. By the time I went to college, I had an easier time adjusting to the independence than a lot of my peers. It was important to me to pass on this same sense of independence to my daughters as they grew up. Now that they’re both grown and pursuing their dreams in LA and New York, I couldn’t be more proud. One thing hasn’t changed though; they love spending the holidays back here at home in sunny San Diego.
WHILE IT WAS A DIFFERENT SORT OF EXPERIENCE FROM THE HOLIDAY CLASSICS YOU MAY BE FAMILIAR WITH, I’M CERTAINLY GRATEFUL FOR THOSE HECTIC, HAMBURGER-FILLED HOLIDAYS.
Christmas, he’d keep the shop open until 9 p.m from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. During the holiday break from school, my siblings and I also helped out in the store. In the week or so leading up to Christmas, my mother (a teacher) would moonlight as a store clerk as well, providing a crucial extra hand. As the eldest, I was in charge of feeding the troops at home. My siblings didn’t complain. After all, I made a darn good burger.
So from all of us Kanters, happy holidays, and have a fantastic new year!
By the time we were old enough to stock shelves and fold clothes, Christmas Eve meant that all
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