Cold Turkey

This idiom means, “Stop doing or using something abruptly and completely.”

It held true for my family on Christmas eve, last night. We stopped our traditional roast-turkey dinner at home, cold turkey.

I remember each annual roast turkey prepared by Tony in the old days (when my three boys were still growing up). Then Manang Vi, our long-time househelp, and son #3 in the years that followed (when son #2 had started his own family abroad) took over—up until last year when we opted for a ready-made bird ordered online. It was because Manang Vi had retired and son #3 was helpless without her.

The prospect of another pre-ordered turkey this year was unappealing. So we agreed to dine on some chef’s turkey in a nearby hotel.     

(Upper left and right) The boys give the bird a once-over. 
Gift unwrapping (left); a tree I didn't have to trim this year.
It wasn’t nearly as good as our home-cooked turkey year after year. Not because of its taste (it was tender and yummy), but because it didn’t create for us memories—recorded on countless photos—of planning, of shopping, and of anticipating how it would finally turn out.    
I feel wistful, as I guess people often do when the many Christmases they have celebrated with family wax and wane with the tides of time.

But I also feel joyful, as I reflect on that first Christmas when Christ was born to save those who believe.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God . . .” Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)

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