How our family honors the magic of Thanksgiving weekend

Nov 22, 2015 at 10:12 a.m. ET
Image: Caiaimage/Monashee Alonso/Getty Images

In our home, we respect the turkey.

Coming from a Hispanic background, Thanksgiving was never really a big deal in our family. I decided that it would change once I had my own family. Fast-forward a couple decades and here I am, a mom of one, stepmom of two.

I take holidays seriously and so do my kids. The first holiday I made sure they understood was Thanksgiving. It is a very special day where the whole family comes together to share a meal in love and appreciation. My children understand this and not only do they help with preparing the food, they help with decorating and leading the grace. We eat together, talk, share and then just hang out. There isn't any "I can't make it" or "I don't like turkey" or "I have to go shopping!" allowed in our home.

Honoring Thanksgiving together is our family tradition.

I am totally against shopping on Thanksgiving. Black Friday is its own mess. I do not see a need to go shopping on Thanksgiving night. Sometimes, my stepdaughter and I will venture out to shop on Black Friday, but it's usually late morning and most sale items are depleted. It's OK though because I do not want her to focus on having to buy gifts. That is not what the holidays are about.

We, as a blended family, have limited time together during the holidays and I do not want to waste it shopping at a mall.

Instead, we have our own tradition: breakfast together on Friday morning, Thanksgiving decorations get put away, Christmas bins get pulled out of storage and we go purchase our Christmas tree. We then spend the rest of the weekend decorating the tree, going to see a movie at the theater and then, on Sunday, our elf makes his long-awaited return to our home. This scenario has been exactly the same for the past four years and it's been perfect. We all know what we are doing, no one makes any other plans and we enjoy each other's company.

This weekend is our bonding time before the holiday craziness. Family bonding is our top priority and it all starts with the magic of Thanksgiving weekend!

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