Guest Written By: Aly Enwright
Growing up in a Mexican-American family, I always felt like I had the best of both worlds -- the best of cuisine, holidays, stories and the list goes on and on. I still remember hearing stories from my parents about how different their lives were growing up. My family celebrated both American and Mexican holidays and traveled to cities that gave me a better understanding as to who I am, and who my family is.
Now, as a mom of two girls, I want to be able to share some of these same experiences with them. I want the girls to know who their great-grandparents were, how I grew up, how my husband grew up, etc. These are things that help kids understand who they are and helps shape their childhood.
There are so many ways to pass down family traditions and keep culture alive in the home on a daily basis.[caption id="attachment_2425" align="alignnone" width="300"] Featured: Aly's daughter keeps her favorite Kiwi the Cat security blanket in her pre-k class cubby for daily nap time[/caption]
Through Stories and Photos
I loved when my parents would tell me stories about their childhood. I was also so curious as to what life was like “back in the day.” I asked so many questions and they would always answer them for me. Now, I find myself doing the same thing with the girls. My mom has a ton of old photos up at her house and the girls love asking me all about these photos. Each photo tells a story-- a memory that I’m able to pass down to them through a photo. It gives the girls a look into my childhood and how I grew up.
Some of my favorite family traditions are centered around the holidays. One of them is Christmas. One of my family traditions growing up was celebrating Christmas Eve with a big family dinner, late night conversations and more. We’ve continued this tradition by celebrating in our home, with both my and my husband's families. I always grew up with the idea that the holidays are all about family and my husband and I always make it a point that everyone is invited to be a part of it.
Growing up, I had the opportunity to travel throughout Mexico. I got to experience where my mom grew up and I learned all about the culture that the country has to offer. Living so close to the border in San Diego, California, we are able to take our girls to Mexico to experience this as well. The culture, the people, the religion, the traditions are elements of what makes Mexico very much alive everywhere we go.
I’m sure we all have family recipes that have been passed down from generations. My husband and I have both picked up the phone several times to call our moms for a quick recipe. It’s amazing how many memories come back through a recipe. It’s so much fun telling the girls about the dish and how it got passed down and altered along the way. Some of our childhood favorite recipes tend to be our go-to recipes for dinner.
Through Songs and Movies
Not all family traditions need to be passed down, and this is one of those examples. The girls and I LOVE to have dance parties. We put on our favorite song and we sing and dance in the living room. These are the types of memories that will last a lifetime, and the things I hope the girls choose to share with their kids one day as well.
There are so many ways to keep your family traditions alive at home and to create new traditions with your kids. Make dinner together, travel the world and share stories about the past. All of these keep the culture alive and create a lifetime of memories.