Some of my favorite things about the Holidays include the rich family traditions that have been passed down from my parents and their families as well as those from my husband's parents. Patrick and I moved to our Roswell home one week shy of Thanksgiving in 2016 and we made our first attempt to create our own traditions. The interesting thing about Holiday traditions is they are just as challenging to change as they are to create. Both Patrick and I are our families first child to marry, get pregnant, and buy a home. In the fall of 2016, we disrupted our families normal traditions with the start of our own. Admittedly, I was so concerned about keeping everyone happy and making everyone feel included that I googled searched 'how to navigate the holidays as an engaged couple." I found stories from women who shared in the struggle of merging traditions and figuring out where and how in-laws and siblings would fit into the new traditions. Knowing I wasn't alone in feeling familial pressure around the Holidays - and I do love my family- eased my mind. I've always been a bit of a people pleaser and I cannot stand to have anyone upset with me; thus, I make a great host. The struggle for me has never been in making sure those around me are content; rather, it's about making sure I am taking care of my own needs as well.
Ultimately Patrick and I leaned into one another and discussed what would truly be important to us around the Holiday season. We are people people, we love to be surrounded by friends and family, and we even welcome the army of white pooches my family totes along; ultimately, we knew we would be happiest with open-house holidays. I have friends and neighbors who switch off visiting their parents and in-laws and I know one day when our siblings are married we may need to revisit how the Holidays happen, but, for now, we are happy to play host to both sides of our family for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Hinchey household always had lots of help in the kitchen around the Holidays. My mom would preset the table a week in advance, and we'd accompany her to the grocery store the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Somewhere along the way, we all ended up with a recipe, or two, or three to make sure we’re taken care of for the big day. I always made the apple pie, the pecan pie, and the sweet potatoes (clearly I have a sweet tooth). Last year was my first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner without my mom, and let's just say her glorious stuffing recipe I attempted was not a success. There must be something to that practice makes perfect mantra I've heard so many times.
Thankfully my whole family will be at our home this year, and Patrick and I will have many helping hands. Thanksgiving morning will start with Gratitude Power Flow — a tradition that I can't imagine Thanksgiving day starting without. This year I picked out miniature foam pumpkins for each yoga student to write his grateful note upon. Post class I plan to have the class place their gratitude pumpkins upon a bulletin board in the hallway at Thunderbolt Power Yoga. There is something so inspiring about Thanksgiving morning. Before the food, before the family gatherings. before there is time for anything to go awry, yogis gather together to flow, move, breathe, connect, and all is right in the world.
What are your favorite family holiday traditions?