The sparkling season is upon us – heaped with food, goods, people, and activity. Bounty and abundance are visually displayed in autumn’s horn of plenty and the Christmas, Hanukkah, or New Year’s images that follow as cheerful or overwhelming assaults, depending on your frame of mind.

While holidays are sometimes seen as troublesome, our veganism can, in fact, make them much richer because of the way it enables us to by-pass the excess that so often piles up on tables and in homes.

A look at definitions of some favorite seasonal words might help us use them better. Those below are from online dictionaries ranging from Merriam-Webster to Oxford to Cambridge:

Abundance – an amount that is more than enough; over-sufficient in quantity or supply; overflowing fullness; more than you need; extremely plentiful.

Bounty – a great kindness or willingness to give or benefit; something given generously; a good behavior, plenty in yield.

Enough – sufficient for the purpose to satisfy desire; as much as required; equal to what is needed; adequate number or quantity.

Can abundance be too much?

We know that the pilgrims needed abundance after nearly starving.  But we aren’t starving.  Abundance in plants means we’d better eat it while they’re fresh or hustle to prep them for freezing or canning. Abundance might mean we burst a button – or apologize to Aunt Emma at the Thanksgiving table for an intoxicated slur. Abundance might mean just plain over-done.

Bounty means kindness and generosity.

It means stay on the vegan path because it’s so kind, smart, and healthy – and it can spill over into the rest of your life.  Bounty gives.  It’s sufficient for our health without over-doing to excess.  It fits the generous vegan psyche.

Enough is just right.

Over-stuffed senses are on overload. But you have just enough when you feel the hugs of your loved ones, see the beauty of your surroundings, hear the merriment of your gathering, taste the “just right” sip or the crunch of the food, smell the perfect aroma…Then you’re enjoying bounty, bypassing abundance, and discovering the wonder of just enough.

Carol Schneider, VLCECarol Schneider, VLCE is an MSVA graduate and a lifetime educator who founded two years ago to help people declutter to build leaner, lighter lives at home, in their work, and in the equilibrium of their overall health. Her former business life included her communication coaching and training practice, ValidVoices, LLC, which included client companies GE, P&G, Chase, March of Dimes, Coach, Sumitomo, and Goldman Sachs, as well as the arts, schools, and community organizations. In addition to MSVA and teaching degrees, Carol holds a certificate from eCornell University – and with her daughter, Suzannah, last year created to provide vegan tips and recipes.

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