By Michele Ann Young I am definitely a creature of habit. And the holiday season kicks me into ritual mode. First comes the Christmas pudding ritual. I know lots of people don’t like it, but to me it’s a taste of the past and a wish for the future. At our house the pud ritual starts in November. I go to the closest bulk food store and buy the freshest of dried fruits—which probably sounds a bit of an oxymoron, but there really is a difference. I use the same recipe every year and have the list in my address book ready to go. My girls usually help with the weighing and chopping of ingredients. Christmas pudding is all about weighing—and steaming, but that comes later. We always add Guinness to our pudding, makes it lovely and dark. My husband loves to drink the rest of the can. That’s his ritual. Then we stir. Each person goes up to the bowl alone, takes the wooden spoon, and stirs. While stirring they make a wish for the coming year. No telling your wish or it won’t come true.