Black Family Traditions at Christmas

Back in the day, black families could look forward to the holidays as a time to catch up with family members, see and play with all the new babies, nieces, nephews and grand kids, and most importantly, say blessings and break bread over tables laden with mouth watering concoctions from Mama and grand mama's kitchen. Turkey, ham, baked macaroni and cheese, collard greens, black eye peas and rice, sweet potatoes, corn bread, sweet potato pie and banana pudding. The list of these delights went on and on, depending on what household you lived in. No matter what the fare, mama and grand mama would always turn it out! We'd eat those heaping plates of food with smiles on our faces, warmth in our hearts and the joy of being around all those who we loved and who loved us. Back in the day when family was a most important tradition in the Black community, Christmas was King!

Flash forward a few generations, and you might think that some have lost the spirit. Families are now not as intact, daddies are not in all the homes the way they used to be, doing the man thing and putting up the tree, and many of us are too independent and have broken away from the family unit to do our own thing. Sometimes, this is for good reason. Staying close to the family for some can be stifling and can inhibit one's growth in certain ways. However, even if it's only once or twice a year, we should all try to hold on to what little tradition and spirit of family that we still do have. If it takes the holidays to do it, by all means, embrace the holidays and be with your family for all its worth. Even if it's a family that really gets on your nerves, you can stand it for at least one or two days! ;)