All over the country we get ready to put our turkeys in the oven, invite family over, and enjoy the holiday season. Everyone has someone who is designated for their part of the meal. There’s always someone who makes the turkey really juicy, and another who makes it dry. Dishes are added or changed as the years go on.
In my family we have different people who take turns making the turkey, but my memories are filled with my mother’s kitchen and that continues this year. Thanksgiving is usually a time of relaxation, family, food, and festivities.
Traditions are common and some are life-lasting. Maybe, you don’t have one set tradition and change it up each year. That’s perfectly fine. Everything changes, so roll with the punches.
I’m sharing a few traditions that have stayed the same since childhood and some that are new.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
Since I was little, we always sit down and watched the parade as the smell of turkey permeates the air. Pies are cooling on the rack, the stove is busy boiling the insides of the turkey for gravy, or boiling potatoes. My father is still asleep and we try to keep it down, failing miserably. My mother works in the kitchen. The TV is center in the living room and we all huddle around it. We all sit on the couch in pajamas huddled in blankets. I, personally, usually have a cup of hot coffee or cocoa in my hands. I recall my siblings pointing out certain balloons or songs and we danced ourselves silly.
Each year, we comment on the change of the balloons, the music, the Broadway performances, and Santa. All my favorite things. I recall enjoying the commercials and enjoying the interviews. Later, when I had children, I loved to sit back and watch them enjoy the same tradition. They get up and dance, point out balloons, and beg for candy. More often than not, the Christmas tree is already up and decorated. The house is filled with trinkets, stockings, lights, and trappings.
This year, I’ll be continuing that tradition at my mother’s house. The same house, I grew up in. The same house that holds the memories of my childhood, teenage years, young adult, and as a mother. I look forward to helping in the kitchen, watching my children enjoy the parade, and being with family. I look forward to the smells, the conversation, and the Christmas music directly after.
The El Paso Thanksgiving Day Parade
In our home, directly after the Macy’s Parade, we watch the local parade. I’ve yet to actually go into town and watch it because, let’s face it, traffic would be a nightmare. Plus, dragging my kids out in the cold and having to get up to use the bathroom a million times, loses its appeal. So, we stay in the cozy house and watch it on TV. As this parade is going on, everyone disperses from the living room and take turns getting dressed.
I, however, love to sit and watch the entirety of the parade before doing so. This gives me time to ready for the day. A form of meditation, if it were. Plus, I love to see the local floats and how much work was put into them. I love the holidays and parades are very much a part of that, for me.
Christmas Tree Goes up
A newer tradition of ours, is to put up our Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. For instance, I just mine up yesterday. What I love about this, is that we get to decorate the house as a family. My kids love to put the ornaments on the tree, put up decorations, and help me make cocoa. We listen to Christmas music loudly and at the end of the night, we watch a movie. I’ve been doing this since the Damian was a year old. So, around 6 years. I love it and will continue this tradition.
Family Game Night
The night before Thanksgiving, we usually pull out all the games and have some fun. In addition to playing games, we usually have a repeat Christmas movie on, like Home Alone. I also love to make some kind of strange meal. Something the kids come up with that may or may not be all that great. I have a secret: I hide something away for myself for later. Ha! The kids love it and we really love to play games and just spend time together.
These are just some traditions that we have. We change a lot each year depending on what is going on in our lives. What we do, we do together. Here are a few pictures from over the years.