The holiday season is upon us! Although it started off as an American tradition, Thanksgiving has since been molded to fit every family’s traditions and beliefs. My family in particular is a Hispanic melting pot: I am half Dominican, Half Chilean, with my extended family members being from Spain and Puerto Rico. With that said, my heritage brings some common traditions, and some modifications to others. So just sit back, relax, and let me take you through a day in the life of a Hispanic Thanksgiving!
It all starts off in the morning. For as long as I can remember, I have woken up bright and early to sit on the couch and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. After that’s done, the children would go off and play, the men watch their football game, and the women would begin the cooking. My memories of sitting in the kitchen with my mom, aunts, and grandma are filled with happiness, even if the conversations were about what happen on the latest novela. One of my fondest memories was watching my 89 year old grandmother carry a huge turkey by herself to prep and yell at anyone that even thought of helping her. When others put stuffing into their turkeys, my family will put moro, or rice and beans, instead. Don’t judge it until you have it – it is life changing! We keep the rest of the dinner very basic, sometimes throwing in some tostones because why not? Now it’s time for dinner.
One tradition that I enjoy is having photos of our deceased family member nearby the table. It’s not like we make a place at the table for them, but a nice end table suffices. It may sound a bit morbid, but for me, it just makes the entire dinner more intimate knowing that our family is watching over us. After a quick prayer, we all dig in to dinner, and so begins the loud conversations across the table. Most of the time, it’s an older aunt or grandma criticizing the younger grandkids about why they’re not married or have children yet. I can speak as a 27-year-old, it doesn’t end. Once dinner is over, THAT’S when the real party starts!
Out comes out the liquor bottles and in goes someone’s iPod fueled with salsa and bachata music to last us the entire night. This is where we truly come together as a family: through dancing and laughter. With everyone leading busy lives in different parts of the U.S., it’s nice to come together even just for a few days. Although some of my traditions are unconventional, I wouldn’t change them for anything in the world.
No matter how you spend it, Happy Thanksgiving, or as my family would say, Feliz Dia de Gracias, from all of us here at VCNY Home!
Do you have any out of the ordinary traditions in your home that you do? Can anyone relate to my crazy family? Let us know in the comments below!
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