Ask Genie Char

Ask Genie Char: Holiday Traditions

By Char McCargo Bah

During the Thanksgiving holiday, we will see so many people on the road on their way north, south, east and west going to spend thanksgiving with their families. Others will travel to spend their Thanksgiving holiday with friends. There are two holidays that people usually want to spend with their family-Thanksgiving and Christmas.

My Family Tradition

My family tradition was getting together with our parents, siblings and their families. We all would come home for Thanksgiving. This is a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. Sometimes we do not know how important our traditions are until we lose our parents, then we become the generation that is in line to pass down family traditions.

As I think about this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I remember when my Dad died in August 1978, my mother’s first Thanksgiving without him. I thought how different that Thanksgiving would be for her. So my siblings and I went out shopping for the Thanksgiving turkey and all of its trimmings. We wanted Mom to have all of her children and their families around her on Thanksgiving Day. This was our tradition to come home for our Thanksgiving holiday. All of the females gathered in the kitchen to help Mom cook for the Thanksgiving dinner. As we all participated in this tradition, we started remembering the yesteryears of growing up and visiting relatives, during this time of year. We would talk about the family members that are no longer here and what they said, how they looked and some of the funny things they did.

During our preparation for the Thanksgiving dinner and reminisces, our mother was laughing about the good old days. She showed no sadness that Daddy was no longer here because she had all of her children and their families with her. Our Thanksgiving holiday was a simple event, not flashy, but just coming together as a family.

This Thanksgiving

Now for this Thanksgiving holiday, Mom and Dad are no longer here. Mom passed early this year, but she will be remembered at the Thanksgiving dinner now hosted by her grandchildren who have taken on this tradition of hosting the Thanksgiving dinner. Although, their cooking is not like Mom’s, our memories of all us coming together will always be a part of our family tradition on Thanksgiving Day.

We will tell stories about our childhood and our parents’ childhood to our children and grandchildren laughing about the good old days when we were children. We will eat and get fat and reminisce about all our family, and along the way, we will be passing on our family tradition to our children and grandchildren. We will continue to come back again and again on Thanksgiving Day because it is our tradition to be with our family on this special day.

What are some of your family’s holiday tradition? Please feel free to share any of your families’ holiday traditions by e-mailing [email protected]. Your stories will be shared in the next edition. If you have any genealogical questions about family research, email me.

Char McCargo Bah is a published author, freelance writer, independent historian, genealogist and a Living Legend of Alexandria. She is a columnist for three newspapers and she maintains two blogs, and


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