Southern Family Traditions
Life In the South
Living in the South has been one of the biggest blessings in my life! Being Southern is a state of mind and it can teach you so many things, such as the importance of our Southern family traditions. I know in the age of technology and progress, we seem to have forgotten how beautiful traditions can be. Family traditions do not have to be some grand display of emotion or affection, but they do need to hold significance within your families. Just think, are there any traditions that you and your family still do today that may have been done by your ancestors many years ago?
Traditions present us with a way to keep our ancestors and our family trees alive for generations. When we perform these cultural practices, we are literally living out a piece of history. I think that is one of life’s little treasures. Of course, we can make new traditions as time goes on, but we must remember the ones that came before us. Something I am extremely looking forward to is making new traditions with my own family one day, and teaching them the traditions that have been past down from the generations before them!
Southern Family Traditions- Everyday Life
As mentioned above, traditions do not have to be some grand practice that you and your family do each year. Traditions can be the things that you simply do in your everyday lives, like going to a family member’s house each week for dinner or going to church every Sunday. Do we do these things because we have to? I wouldn’t think so. I believe these are the things that we choose to do because it’s what our families have done for years.
One of my favorite everyday traditions that we do before every meal is pray. When I was little, of course, I didn’t really understand what praying before a meal meant. Since I’ve grown older, I know now that it is important to take time before we eat to be grateful. Each meal and each time we come together to eat is a blessing. It’s easy to take something as simple as eating for granted, especially when we know exactly where our next meal is going to come from. However, some people are not as fortunate and we must remember just how blessed we are.
My next favorite thing we do together as a family is go to church on Sunday’s! In the South, church is a big deal. You can drive a few miles in any direction and probably pass a church. It is what it is. I genuinely love getting dressed up to go worship and fellowship with the people in my community. Of course after church, we have to eat a big lunch! Lunch can be as simple as a ham and cheese sandwich or it can involve taking a trip to granny’s house to eat until you’re miserable. There really is nothing quite like it. I hope to get back into the routine of going to church every week so I can feel that community again!
Most of our Southern family traditions do revolve around food and Lord, am I thankful for that! I love food and food loves me! Something that I loved doing growing up was having family dinners almost every night. While not every night was a production, we did make sure to come together to eat and talk about our days. Some of my favorite memories come from the dining room table right in my family’s kitchen! We have laughed, cried, and fought at that table. I think this just shows that the dining room table and the kitchen are the heart of the home.
Many of our family dinners have been at our own house here in Tennessee, but many of them have also been at my Grandma’s house in Myrtle Beach. When I was younger, we used to go to her house almost every week! Grandma’s house is where we went to eat lunch after church, where we had holiday dinners, and where we simply gathered together when we returned home to visit. I can still taste the meatloaf and chicken bog she used to cook for us all the time! Luckily, when we go back to the beach, we get to enjoy her sweet, Southern homecooking!
Another place we had many family dinners at was my mom’s mother’s homes in South Carolina and Florida! She has moved from Massachusetts, to South Carolina, to Florida within her lifetime. I’ve only known her homes in Charleston and Florida, though. Dinners at her house are super fun because she is a professional chef, so it never fails that her meals are out of this world! My favorite recipe that she created herself is a new take on the Southern classic, shrimp and grits. It’s called Whipped Potatoes and Shrimp! The recipe includes sauteed shrimp with Andouille sausage over a whipped potato and pear mash. Then, the Julienne collards are sauteed with a sweet tea and pomegranate sauce and garnished with Asiago cheese. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it! I hope to have it again soon!
I’ll keep this one short because it’s very simple. The major holidays are a major deal in my house. These include, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For Easter, my family usually gathers at a close friend’s house here in Nashville where we have a blast! We eat until we’re full, we play football in the yard, and we have a huge Easter egg hunt between myself, my sister, and sometimes my boyfriend. (I realize we are in our 20’s, but leave us alone!)
For Thanksgiving, we used to travel to South Carolina every year to eat at Grandma’s to be with the aunts, uncles, and cousins. As we have established our roots in Tennessee, though, we have been staying here to celebrate the holiday with our close friends. In some ways, I like this because we don’t have to rush around, but I do miss gathering with our family.
Christmas is just as big of a production for us as it is for anybody. We usually go to a friend’s house on Christmas Eve to play games, eat finger foods, and watch, “A Christmas Story.” I personally think that Christmas only feels like Christmas once I watch “A Christmas Story,” but that’s just me. After the Christmas Eve celebrations, we go to bed and wake up at 7:00 AM on Christmas morning to open gifts and drink coffee. I don’t think I will ever want to wake up any later than 7AM on Christmas because then the rest of the day flies by and I would feel like I missed it. Once Christmas is over, then we travel to South Carolina and Florida to celebrate with the rest of our family! It’s a very busy time, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
Importance of Tradition
As I have said before, traditions are essential to our family. Traditions honor our ancestors and they keep their legacies alive. Me being the traditionalist I am, I can’t wait to carry on my Southern family traditions one day and to make our own! I hope you all find the beauty in your family’s heritage and see just how important it is to keep their legacies alive!
If you have some fun family traditions to share, please do on the Stories tab! I would love to hear them!
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