Mis Reynas, the time has come for us to give thanks. This is one of my favorite times of year because our families come together, we hug each other a little tighter, our words are a little sweeter, our food is more plentiful and our time is spent with the ones we love. I remember when I was a little girl I used to stay up late the night before Thanksgiving with my papí to cover the turkey in butter and spices. My sister and I couldn’t wait to do this with him. We would laugh and make jokes as we got the turkey ready for the next day. It was a wonderful evening! The next day my abuelita would teach us how to make tamales, champurrado, menudo y polvorones de nuez with the rest of my tias and primas. Ay! Que memorias!
Today, as adults, we continue the traditions that were passed down to us because family is important and so are the traditions they bring with them, verdad? In our culture, we pass down the importance of the family, food, and unity. Growing up our family gatherings were huge! Tias, tios, primas, and primos came from all over so we could all gather together. Sometimes, the only times we would see these family members was during the holiday season. As a child, I understood that my family was coming over and I was excited to see them. As an adult, however, I now understand the effort it takes and the importance of this tradition and how much the family means to me. Familia. There is nothing more important than that.
As I look back on my family as a child, I remember how we would go to church as a family on the morning of Thanksgiving to give thanks, how the women would gather in the kitchen to learn the recipes handed down in our family, how important it was in our house that we continued to speak in Spanish even when living in the US, and I remember the music. Oh, how I remember the music! My family loved to dance. My family loved to cook. My family loved to praise and go to church together. My family loved to be together.
Traditions may vary from family to family, but one thing in our orgullo Mexicano that is constant is our love and loyalty for one another. La familia is what encourages us to go the extra mile when we feel like giving up or to be willing to try new things! La familia is who helps out with los chiquitos when you have to go to work or need a night out with your husband. Nobody can replace the love and caring that comes from our families.
This Thanksgiving, Reynas, I want to take a moment to say, “thank you,” to each of you for making Juanita’s a part of your family’s table. You have made me a part of your laughter, your joy, your tears, and your celebrations. By bringing our products to your table during family gatherings, events and holidays, we’ve been able to share and celebrate with you! By putting us on your table during regular everyday life, we’ve been able to share in the traditions and care that keep our families united.
As you continue to pass down the Mexican traditions we all know and love this Thanksgiving we hope you take a moment to thank those around you…. be specific! Start a gratitude circle and encourage those around you to say something they’re grateful for as well…..trust me gratitude is contagious!
As for me, I’m grateful for so many things but specifically for each of you and I thank you…for saving me a place at your table day after day and year after year. I’ll see you in the kitchen soon, Reynas!