The traditions that bind a family are to be cherished. I’ve written in the past about these and how much they mean to me. Last year, many of these changed as we went through Robbie’s illness and passing and this year, we’re doing things as close to normal as possible.Kate came home Tuesday night and today we’ll be joining Bob & Laurie Rozakis on Long Island, part of their extended family. One alteration to the routine is that our presence has been requested early for maximum socializing time. To accomplish this, we’ll have to skip the full telecast of the parade and the synchronized at Noon playing of Alice’s Restaurant.Our traditions will be adjusted further as we interrupt the festivities to take a vacation, resulting in less time to bake and decorate and the like. We only get Kate home for Christmas weekend, and don’t see her again until mid-January. Moving furniture around to accommodate the new flatscreen TV means a new place for the tree, another change. Overall, though, we’re keeping as much as we can the same — it brings continuity, stability, and a sense of comfort.It’s also a week when the feasting begins in earnest. The week began with the SFWA Holiday Reception, which meant a dinner in advance. Tuesday, there was a small reception for Democrats who ran in the just-concluded election, which meant more food. After picking Kate up at the train, she needed food, which meant I got to eat some more. And yesterday, we were invited for dinner at our friends around the corner and Martha’s a great cook. Martha, Tom, Deb, and Kate reveled with not only the food but the wine.And now, way too much food courtesy of Bob and Laurie. Oh my.But you know what, it also means we’re out of the house, spending time with people whose company we enjoy. It also means things are beginning to transition from the Go-Go workaday reality to a slightly differently paced holiday season where we blend in visiting, shopping, cards sent and received, gifts bought and received, and great music wafting in the air wherever you go.It’s a time of year that I relish.May each and everyone enjoy their Thanksgiving Day and the weekend that follows. Hug your friends and family, eat with abandon and stay warm, dry, and safe.