November 15, 2023

A Slow Holiday Toast (2023)

Several years ago, during the holidays, my father passed away from pancreatic cancer. December 6th, 2016 to be exact. For the next few years, what should have been festivities were sad experiences for me. The holidays were his favorite time of year, and I just couldn’t get into the spirit without his goofy middle eastern renditions of the surrounding traditions.

After a few years, I knew I needed to rewire the way I was approaching holidays.

So, I did what I always do when I'm trying to make sense of things: I put my pen to paper. Inspired my some of the thoughtful voices who've inspired me over the years (Tina Roth-Eisenberg, Debbie Millman, Priya Parker, Glennon Doyle, and others), this time what came out was a simple holiday toast — just a few lines that could be shared before a big meal, or at the start of an event. It became one of the most widely read and shared pieces that year.

I did it again last year, and the same thing happened.

And so, another small Ei tradition seems to have emerged. And this year, it feels more important than ever…

…to slow down.

…to share a moment all together.

…to feel and embrace whatever this season brings up for you.

…to enjoy an experience of appreciation and remembering.

The toast is ready for you to download below, no email required. Please use it, adapt it if you wish, and share your experience with the team and me if you feel compelled.

Even amidst loss, new traditions can emerge to comfort us. Thank you for being here and for being you. We feel so grateful to be building Experience Institute with and for you.

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