(or how you can integrate participatory processes into every corner of your life……)
Christmas is a time for traditions, but also for creating new traditions. My grandmother brought the traditions of her own family and my grandfather’s family together through Christmas pudding. Granny wasn’t completely satisfied with either of the two family recipes, so she experimented until she had the ultimate combination: diplomatic pudding. My mother carried on the tradition, using the diplomatic pudding recipe.
When my partner and I came to build our own Christmas traditions, I asked to my partner’s mother to join me in some action research. We both made Christmas pudding according to our family recipes and we held a ‘pudding off’ (otherwise known as Christmas dinner). Together we created a new recipe: participatory pudding. The actual differences in ingredients are small, just a bit of grated apple (and quite a lot of brandy to set it on fire), but the impact is lasting, this is our new family recipe and I hope that my children will make this an iterative process and re-visit the pudding recipe with their own families.