My heritage is Ukrainian, and January 6 is when we celebrate Ukrainian Christmas Eve. The week before, I start making the twelve meatless dishes, trying to match my mom and baba's standard. These include wheat, bread, borscht, perogies, cabbage rolls, and salmon. These twelve dishes represent the twelve apostles. Each year we invite two new couples to experience the evening. We begin with a reading explaining the traditions and an iced vodka toast to health and prosperity for the new year. We talked about our best childhood Christmas memories. As kids we celebrated at our grandparent's (baba and gido's) house. My cousin Debbie and I would have the task of frying up the perogies on the wood stove for a midnight snack. Gido would always pour the tiniest shot of whiskey for each grandchild for good health. It's funny how nobody remembered the gifts. Rather, it was the experiences that were the best memories. Perhaps that is the lesson. Create family traditions as gifts that last.