A Christmas tree in a living room

2020 Holiday Traditions from ERC and Pathlight's Clinical Leadership

"Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season! Thank you for all that you do to serve the growing demand in mental health today." - Jenna Flagg, PSYD, Senior Clinical Director, WA & CA

The holidays this year are going to look a little different for most families all over the world. But no matter where you're spending your time this season, your holiday traditions can still take place, even if you come together with your loved ones virtually.

This year, we connected with Eating Recovery Center and Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center's clinical leadership to share tips and traditions with you all. From all of us at ERC | Pathlight, we hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday. 

“My favorite holiday tradition is to spend quality time with friends and family, by cooking together and enjoying each other’s company. My more recent tradition is to Facetime my nephews while they open or play with their presents.”

- Elizabeth Wassenaar, MS, MD, CEDS, Regional Medical Director, Colorado

 “Although this year will be a little different, typically, our entire family will get together for a big meal on Christmas Eve. The traditional menu is roast pork shoulder, rice, black beans, and oven-roasted ripe plantains. The youngest and oldest family members are responsible for prayers.”

- Ovidio Bermudez, MD, FAAP, FSAHM, FAED, F.IAEDP, CEDS, Chief Clinical Education Officer
Elizabeth Easton is baking cookies with family

“For generations, my mom’s side of my family has made a Lebanese cookie called Mammoul just before Christmas. Now that my mom has grandkids, they all join in. Here is a picture of my son Oliver and me making Mammoul a few years ago.” 

- Elizabeth Easton, PSYD, Regional Clinical Director, Colorado

“One of the holiday traditions I love most is trimming the tree with my family. As we unpack each ornament and put it on the tree, we get to recall each one's meaning and, in many cases, get to think about a special person that gave it to us. We chose many of our ornaments to commemorate special moments together, like family vacations, new homes, and other exciting occasions over the years. It’s always fun to remember each one and reflect on all the great memories together at the end of each year.”

- Steven Crawford, MD, Medical Director, Baltimore

“Like many people, my favorite thing about the holidays is gathering with extended family, so this year will be a little different as we stay home and do all we can to keep one another safe and healthy. But different doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I’m looking forward to a slower pace, the time to reflect on 2020 and stay hopeful about a new year with more chances to gather and see loved ones in 2021, especially my new granddaughter.” 

- Harry Brandt, MD, Regional Medical Director, East  

“Whether you’re a provider, in recovery, or supporting a loved one, now can be a great time to identify and begin a new tradition! Maybe it’s starting your day with an intentional five minutes of meditation. It could be adding a cup of hot chocolate to your breakfast. You could light a fun new scented candle. Get creative to increase the joy this holiday season!" 

- Gabrielle Ramirez, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD, Clinical Dietitian

“Bake the world a better place. And remember, happiness is licking the spoon.”

- Allie Helterbran, RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian

“I love to decorate for the holidays. My favorite tradition is listening to Christmas music as we decorate the Christmas tree. Although the holiday traditions will be different this year, I am thankful for technology being able to bring families together from far away.”

- Brianna Jones, LPC, Primary Therapist
dr elizabeth easton
dr elizabeth wassenaar

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