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Thanksgiving Traditions


According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, tradition is the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction. This implies so much more than just passing down information through the years. For many of us, it is a transference of tradition that holds family together. There are customs and beliefs that have united families and sometimes communities. There is comfort in tradition.

As we enter into our Thanksgiving Holiday tradition, many people will celebrate in a national form by gathering with family and friends to feast and celebrate. Many will be serving traditional foods like turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy. Certainly pumpkin pie will be on the table. Before or after feasting some will enjoy the beauty of fall with a walk, others will play some football or watch a Thanksgiving parade. There is a sense of reassurance in keeping and upholding these traditions, maybe it reminds us of stability and loyalty. Also part of American tradition is multicultural flavors. Besides the turkey and ham, Americans add so many of their own personal touches to their Thanksgiving feasts. 

In my own multicultural family experience of 34 years I’ve held on to the typical Thanksgiving meal plan.  Of course I’ll serve turkey and ham, our children have caught the value of tradition so even if turkey tends to be dry we can appreciate it. However, I can never do our Thanksgiving feast without dashes of the Mexican traditions I was raised in. Chile and Mexican spices are infused in the meal as much as possible, whether that’s in the marinade for the turkey, a Mexican style side dish or simply having salsa on the table for anyone needing to spice up their meal. 

A Mexican Tradition

One of my favorite Mexican traditions during the holidays is Champurrado. A Mexican hot drink made with masa de maiz, chocolate and other ingredients. It’s sweet, delicious and cozy. 

My mother served it mostly during the holidays, it went perfectly with her delicious tamales. Although I did leave home without it, I’ve included it into my holiday season as much as I can.

Every holiday season I tend to want to stay in my comfort zone and prepare and cook what I am accustomed to and safely feel that it will be tasty. At the same time every holiday season I want to try something new and add a new dish or dessert to our already bountiful feast. 

A Gratitude Tree

This year, with only days left until Thanksgiving, I still haven’t found anything new or different to add to our feast. However, I have come across a new idea, and hopefully it can become a tradition for our family. A Gratitude Tree. 

I fell in love with this idea as I was researching the wonderful physical, emotional and social benefits of having a grateful heart and attitude. I have privately recorded what I’m grateful for in my “gratitude journal” but a Gratitude tree takes thankfulness and appreciation to the next level. It is a shout out for someone or something good in our lives. On Thanksgiving, I’m hoping to stir up my family’s grateful hearts, what or who exactly are they thankful for? I am looking forward to filling the branches with leaves of appreciation quotes from myself, husband, children and grandchildren this year and the years to come. 

Texas Lone Star Tamales is thankful for all of God's bounty. Locally and across the nation, the online community has received our Texas style tamales with wonderful support. A hearty thank you to all our loyal and new customers, a Happy Thanksgiving to all.

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