family, traditions, thanksgiving

Growing up I didn’t have much in the way of family traditions but now that I’m a mother , I find it important to implement traditions in my own families lives; setting in place our own “Morgan Family” heritage that my children can pass along to their children and families.

Traditions represent a sense of  togetherness, just like holiday’s brings families together so here are just a few traditions that you can ritualized in your own family and I would also love to hear about ones that you currently have or had as a child! Please comment below:

Trim the Tree:  I’ve always thought of Thanksgiving Day as the official kickoff to the Holiday season making it a perfect time to trim the tree with your love ones.  If the fresh smell of pine soothes your fancy why not make it a family tradition to take a trip to the mountains to cut down your Christmas tree!  The Watauga County Christmas Tree Association  has a awesome list of mountain family fun many that includes extra activities such as Hay Rides and Horseback riding and yummy treats such as Apple Cider and Hot Chocolate!  Christmas Corner has gotten rave reviews as well and if Thanksgiving Dinner has worn off by the time you cut your fir, check out The Italian Restaurant in Pineloa down the road (yup that’s the actual name 🙂

Attend the Thanksgiving Parade: Parades are a nice and free  way to add to your annual Thanksgiving traditions. One major perk of attending parades is  99% of the time they start early so the football fans don’t miss kickoff! If you’re in the Charlotte area, the Thanksgiving Day Parade starts at 9:30am so you’ll have plenty of time to get home, warm up, chow down and watch the Carolina Panthers whoop on the Cowgirls!

Create a family cookbook– Chances are grandma has her sweet potato pie committed to memory and can recite the ingredients in her sleep.  She doesn’t need measurements since she knows its just a pinch of this and a dash of that and wala; out pops a perfectly made pie.

The term “Soulfood” originates all the way back to 1492 giving us approximately 522 years, 10 months and 25 days of making our own variations to sweet potato pies, collard greens, macaroni and cheese and yams.  Let’s face it, Aunt Brenda’s mac and cheese taste nothing like Cousin Flo’s!  So why not take your own family recipes, which in a sense are pieces of your own heritage and make them into a cookbook.   Have each family member who brings a dish write down the recipe in the family cookbook. Yes, I hear your hesitation; Aunt Brenda would never give away her “secret” recipe to her mac and cheese; never!  The perk, Aunt Brenda will  have her recipe published and it’s now “Aunt Brenda’s Famous Macaroni and Cheese” that now holds a special place in the “Morgan Family” recipe book that can  be passed along throughout the family for generations to come! Hey, Aunt Brenda’s Famous Macaroni and Cheese” just might get Cousin Flo a husband; we all know food is a way to a mans heart 🙂

Schedule a Family Photo Session-  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, CAPTURE YOUR MEMORIES! Not just for snapchat, facebook and instagram, but for longevity.  As you go to grandma’s house this holiday season, i’m sure you’re walking into a museum of history; little moments in time that adorns her wall. Your kindergarten pictures, mom’s prom pictures, the family photo’s that were taken back when Afro’s were in style the first time and grey backdrops were the only backdrops.  We get giddy embarrassed thumbing through photo alums filled with Polaroids of our families history but would we do without them!

Since many of us are surrounded by love ones near and far on Thanksgiving, it makes for the perfect time to take a family photo.  Either pull out your DSLR and set it  up on a tripod or hire a professional photographer  to beautifully capture your memories.  Lets not lose our-self to the instant gratification of instagram.  Let’s continue our families legacy with tangible wall art and albums that our kids and our kids kids can enjoy looking at for years to come!

Give a dinner to the less fortunate–  A perfect tradition that can even be established ThanksGIVING eve is to prepare a meal for someone less fortunate. Even if it’s making plates to handout to the homeless on ThanksGIVING day or  being a blessing to your neighbor who can use a helping hand, let’s not forget the Giving in ThanskGIVING.

Unplug!-  We love to fill our Facebook &  Instagram with images of our collard greens and cousins we  haven’t seen in years. We love to read and re-post all of the #thanksgivingwithblackfamilies meme’s. We love to post selfies of ourselves at Walmart Thanksgiving day five mins after we put our forks down,  waiting in line with our $49.99 60 inch flat screens.

Well what if we didn’t. What if we started a tradition of turning off the  phones and being present with our friends and family we love, dislike . What if we talked; what if we laughed, what if we played games, what if we relished in the fact that tomorrow isn’t promised and live in the moment with our loved ones.  What if we trimmed the tree, attended a parade, made Aunt Brenda’s Macaroni and Cheese famous, captured our family memories and gave to the less fortunate all while remaining unplugged.  Just imagine all the extra moments you would have saved and new traditions you could have made on this day if you chose to be  present with the ones you love.

From my Pinstripe Stroller Family to yours, I wish you all a fun filled Thanksgiving with your Family and look forward to hearing on FRIDAY all about the new or old traditions you established!