Thanksgiving season is here, and as we approach Thanksgiving Day (November 27th) we take this opportunity to reflect on what has happened in our lives, and express a heart of gratitude with family and friends around the dinner table. Whether it’s Grandma’s homemade apple pie, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, or the inevitable nap after overindulging on turkey, the holiday season is filled with entertainment and family traditions. Here, at The Parenting Center, we wanted to share some of our staff members Thanksgiving tradition during this holiday season.

“On my mother’s side of the family, we usually eat a late lunch and before we partake in Thanksgiving dinner, every person around the table says something that they are thankful for. The sisters of the family would bring a side dish or special dessert to contribute for the feast. Before my Grandfather passed, he would be the one to carve the turkey for the entire family. I miss him dearly, and I’m very thankful for the memories that me and my Grandfather shared”.

Natalie Galata, Empowering Families Project

“The day after Thanksgiving I always spend time with my Grandma. Over the past couple of years, the entire family meets at my Grandma’s house to celebrate the holiday with her. We have lots of delicious food, we play board games and card games, and instead of taking the traditional nap, we take an afternoon walk. Our Grandma makes sure that we have Jell-o Jigglers and cottage cheese. Now, any other time of the year I would not eat them, but at her house, I just love them!”

Stephanie Warren, Empowering Families Project

“My family makes a traditional dessert dish of strawberry/cherry jell-o every Thanksgiving. I have claimed it to be our traditional dish because our family doesn’t eat it after the meal as a dessert, but along with the turkey as a side. It adds color and sweetness to balance the flavors of our plates and I haven’t seen another family do that like our family”.

Shannon Gossett, Empowering Families Project

“Before we eat, our family pops holiday “poppers” (or Christmas crackers). The poppers are a cardboard tube wrapped in decorated paper to make it resemble an oversized sweet-wrapper. Two people pull the popper on each end, similar to a wishbone, it splits unevenly with a crackle/pop sound. There are either gadgets like a small toy, or a joke/riddle/peace of trivia inside of each popper. After showing our toy or sharing the joke with everyone, we dig in and enjoy the scrumptious food.”

Henrietta Williams, Development and Marketing

“Our Thanksgiving tradition always included tamales. My mother, grandmother, sister and I would start nearly a week before the holiday to prepare and cook the tamales. It was a chance for all us to share stories, a few laughs, update each other on exciting things happening in our families. Of course, we did the usual turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day, but we always made sure there was a side of tamales. I’m looking forward to the festivities this year!”

Josie Espinosa, Receptionist

“The interesting thing about our family Thanksgiving tradition is what takes place before the big day. Years before, I would be so overwhelmed with cooking the food, setting up decorations, figuring out how to entertain the kids all while trying to pull off what seemed impossible. I wanted to bring back the attitude of gratitude and appreciation on Thanksgiving Day with my family. Now, I prepare and practically cook everything on Wednesday and deal with the minor details on Thursday. We can truly enjoy each other’s company, and remember all the things we are thankful for as a family”.

Debbie Lester, Executive Assistant


Family traditions are a great way to build a strong family and create lasting memories. At The Parenting Center, we believe that strong families build strong communities and family traditions help to keep the bond and commitment within a family growing. The heart of a family, with a few dashes of creativity, layered with good memories, and topped with family support are bound to create a family recipe for success and more happy memories in the making.

From our home to yours, have a wonderful Thanksgiving season!

Like us on Facebook and share some of your family traditions during this holiday season!