A Holiday Tradition

I’m not sure why; during my adulthood, I’d jump out of my Halloween costume and begin preparing for Christmas. It wasn’t until one year at ages 10 and 17 my children asked why we never celebrate Thanksgiving. I didn’t have an answer for them at that precise moment. My only thought was a memory of frustration years before in an attempt at cooking my first turkey. After thawing it for obviously not long enough, it was still frozen after retrieving it from the oven. I did learn how to prepare a delightful turkey along with all the fixings and what it really boiled down to being too much work for a single mom to celebrate both holidays. Besides, I’d always remained thankful throughout the year in recognizing our many blessings and simply hadn’t given the actual holiday much thought. It was no different than my birthday, simply another day. As it turned out, my children informed me that Thanksgiving was their favorite holiday and that year they proposed an idea to celebrate their favorite time of the year along with mine which is Christmas, by starting a new family tradition.

My children have always been much more outgoing than I was. They have always been thankful for not having to go without basic neccessities as well as a mother to look out for them unlike many of their classmates. They became motivated and wanted to do something for those who didn’t have anyone or perhaps were lonely during the season by offering them a reminder that there is always something to be thankful for. Many of their friends didn’t have a turkey on the table or gifts under the Christmas tree, while others took having a nice meal every day and a pair of new Jordans under the tree for granted. As a family we decided to give gifts to those who visited our home during the holiday seasons or those who were just a friendly face in the neighborhood. All they’re asked to do is write in a tiny book we hankg on the wall without Christmas stockings called “silent night”, what they are thankful for. In turn they choose a gift from Santa’s bag of goodies to take with them. Now these are by no means expensive or elaborate gifts, but more like tokens we’ve collected throughout the year. “Our daily Bread” is constantly sending me journals, calendars and various useful items in the mail. You’d be surprised how much “stuff” one can accumulate in eleven months. Candles, slippers that were a gift from someone else, but don’t fit, various books and giftcards to places we may not frequent and the list goes on. We wrap them all in a solid-colored paper to distinguish the difference between our family gifts, because often times a few are left over from the previous year.

Many people don’t get gifts for their birthdays or other holidays for a variety of reasons, but my children don’t like the idea of knowing someone may be left out and shouldn’t be, at least not during the magical time of Thanksgiving and Christmas so we in our own way, combined the two. The best part is not only seeing the smiles of surprise on people’s faces in awe that they were thought of, but also revisiting the tiny silent night book every year and reading what people (including our family) are thankful for. It is extremely heartwarming to witness the growth. Some have expressed to us that it wasn’t about the actual gift for them, but the gesture itself providing hope and motivating them to pay it forward in one way or another. I am thankful for such caring children because with this family tradition that has now been fourteen years for us, I too was reminded that there is in fact ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Happy Holiday Season to Everyone!!!!

Published by 5thgenerationgirl

Tammy Wynette is a mother of three and a โ€œG-MAโ€ (grandma). Born in Warren, Arkansas, she currently resides in Sacramento, CA and is pursuing an AA degree in English at American River College, with plans to transfer to California State University, Sacramento (Sac State). She is an active leader and role model in her community, she works with teens sharing and teaching poetry, as well as providing insight for young parents to prosper. She has certificate from NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is a trailblazer & Griot, keeper of stories/traditions passed down from her ancestors. As an Author and motivational speaker itโ€™d be an honor to present at your events to inspire, encourage & let our VOICES be heard! She has short stories and poems published in Our Black Mothers Brave, Bold and Beautiful!

74 thoughts on “A Holiday Tradition

  1. What a sweet and wonderful holiday tradition. I think I’ve only cooked a few Thanksgiving meals of my own, cooking just a turkey breast, as usually I had that holiday with my Mom, other family or friends. I’ve always struggled with Thanksgiving as I knew that the original holiday was a myth that glorified white colonists and hid the genocide and land grab, broken treaties that arose from the white man’s arrival in America. At the same time, I love any focus on gratitude and thankfulness!

    Have a wonderful holiday season!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally understand and for me holidays are not about the history, but simply a time to gather with family & not be consumed with responsibilities of work, etc.
      I’m happy to know you had a wonderful time with your family. By the way, the kids do most of the cooking these days, lol.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ab, but that’s what makes me so thankful. I actually learned from them. I wasn’t always the nicest person due to always living in fear. If not for my children, I honestly don’t think I would have come this far & fyi, you, T & the hubby are part of our family too๐Ÿ˜Š. You’ve all been adoptedโฃ๏ธ

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Kids are the best in that way. The priceless gifts they give us every day. ๐Ÿ˜Š And Iโ€™m touched you feel that way about my family. Your kind words and prayers are always appreciated! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’•

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Ok, Tammy, now that I have finished bawling my eyes out, ๐Ÿ˜ญ and putting them back in again ๐Ÿ˜ฒ I am now able to comment. It’s obvious that you instilled some very valuable lessons into your children, and now with No. 1 grandson, so even though they may be more outgoing than you are, then that shows you did your job. They are to take the baton and now run with it, but at the same time you are running with them, laying new paths of love and gratitude to share with others who did not have a mother like you, or family like yours!!! ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ’

    This is so inspiring to those who may have an inkling to complain, but have more gratitude in their hearts after reading your humbling story. So, my dear, thank you for sharing some wonderful and tender private moments that only confirms there are good people still out here who continue to care about the health and welfare of others, no matter how much you have. Share anyway.

    Merry Christmas QT! ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ‰โ˜ƒ

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love that, passing the “baton” is a perfect way to look at it, thanks Kym.
      The sad part is there are people near ( not in) my circle who’d read this & be envy because they get the idea that we have it all together, but no one does. As teens my kids gave me the blues & now as adults, most days I want to choke my daughter & they know it because I get on their nerves too, but we’ve always been able to communicate openly about our problems. That is one thing I’m most thankful for.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Girl, it is so good that even if you disagree, you can still have a civil conversation. Look, there are no “Leave it to Beaver” families that I know, who do not have their fair share of ups and downs, bumps and bruises. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ They might get bitten by a beaver, but they still come back in the fold. ๐Ÿ™€

        The whole point is, your gratefulness and how you got over when you were under! I get it. It’s all in the lessons we “learn sweetie pie!” ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks my dear. One tool we used so I wouldn’t blow up is they’d leave a note on my bedroom door when they wanted to talk about something serious. It allowed time for me to process it & respond/ talk calmly. It worked so well for us.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. And you do the same QT. I truly enjoyed yesterday’s dialogue. It was so refreshing! Didn’t mean to be sooooo long winded! I suppose I have the gift of gab!!! LOL ๐Ÿ˜ฒ Enjoy the rest of your evening as well! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ’–โœจ Cheers! ๐Ÿฅ‚

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Mitch Teemley and commented:
    My Featured Blogger this week is the familiarly-named Tammy Wynette of 5th Generation Girl. Author and motivational speaker Tammy is also a community leader and role model in Sacramento, California, as well as a certified advocate and peer-support specialist for the mentally ill. In other words: this woman walks the talk. Every. Day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Seasonโ€™s Greetings, Tammy! I found your post both heartwarming and reassuring. Your kids are most fortunate to have a mom who understands the real meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas; who has, so successfully, bestowed her wisdom upon them. If only there were more caring parents, such as you.

    PS: Thank you for the follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great post! I love the way you kept the reminder of the joy of giving in front of your children and gave them a direct role in giving to others.
    I love your writing and your heart, but I do have one critiqueโ€ฆ albeit very minor. The black type on red background really strains my eyes to read. It may be because I possess 70 year old eyes, but I doubt if I am alone in that sentiment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much & I appreciate the feedback concerning the color. You’re the second person to express that issue. I struggle with technology, but I’ll be sure to work on that & try my best to change it before the weeks out. Merry Christmas my friend.


  6. “I am thankful for such caring children because with this family tradition that has now been fourteen years for us, I too was reminded that there is in fact ALWAYS something to be thankful for.”โ€”This is awesome. We need more of this.

    Liked by 1 person

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