Thanksgiving is a time when all of us get together whether it's family, coworkers and friends to reflect upon our lives and moments we are grateful for.
Each Thanksgiving our creative marketing team comes up with ways to express our thanks. This year we wanted to share with everyone the traditions each Kulture Konnect team member takes part within their own families. Here's a glimpse of what Thanksgiving looks like inside each of our homes.
Jorge Pacheco - CEO, Co-Founder of Kulture Konnect
A Columbian Native, Jorge never celebrated Thanksgiving growing up. "It wasn't until meeting his wife, Niki, that he adopted Thanksgiving traditions."
Celebrating Thanksgiving as a family, Jorge's favorite tradition that they follow every year is placing a decorative cardboard turkey upon the wall. His family then cuts out feather shapes from paper.
Throughout the day, the paper feathers are used to write something they are thankful for and placed upon the turkey.
"This is my favorite activity because it reminds me of the details of life and how joy can be found in everything that I do with my family and at work." - Jorge Pacheco
Niki Pacheco - CEO, President of Kulture Konnect
Thanksgiving is one of Niki's favorite holidays due to the many memories it brings her of and its power of bringing people together by sharing food and companionship at the dinner table. All distractions aside, Niki's family enjoys plates filled with turkey, wild rice stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, broccoli, cauliflower, bread rolls, and cranberry sauce.
"My mouth is watering just thinking about it all!"
Niki recalls a year when she decided to try a new stuffing recipe. She experimented with an apple cranberry sage stuffing in place of the traditional wild rice stuffing.
"There was almost a riot at my table when my family found out that I changed it up! From then on, I went back to the original tried and true wild rice stuffing! Traditions are a funny thing.. you do not know how important they are to you until something gets changed up."
As a kid, Niki experienced a similar feeling when her parents decided to purchase Thanksgiving dinner rather than cook it as they traditionally do. She considers that year to be the worst Thanksgiving ever, but looking back as an adult, she realizes that it was fine but appreciates the tradition of cooking a home-made Thanksgiving meal.
Furthering her Thanksgiving appreciation, at a time when she lived in Chile for two years, Niki was determined to not miss her Thanksgiving meals. Since Chile does not celebrate Thanksgiving, she took it upon herself to have her parents mail her their cookbook to create the meal for her and the family she was living with. It was the first time she recreated the meal without her mom by her side to guide her! It was a success! Her Chilean family loved the dinner she cooked for them so much, that they did it again the next year.
"I am looking forward to this year's Thanksgiving. I wish everyone happiness and peace around their dinner tables this year." -Niki
Marisa, Graphic Designer
In Marisa's household, Thanksgiving is celebrated a little later than most families. Many of her families members are unavailable on the third Thursday of November due to having the responsibility of being a first-responder and having to work on Thanksgiving day.
Nonetheless, her family's Thanksgiving gathering isn't any less special because of the date. For the past three years, Marissa celebrates the Friday after Thanksgiving. When all families make it to the dinner table, a prayer is said before indulging in food. This is the time that makes the annoyance of cleaning and creating a dinner table arrangement all worth it and Marisa can catch up with her loved ones.
Thanks to the consistency of television programming, her family usually turns the channel to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Then, it's time for pie, lemon or pumpkin.
"My favorite part is the pumpkin pie, because you can never go wrong with some pie." - Marisa
Over pie, everyone creates a Christmas list of things they want to help other family members get gift ideas for the next holiday gathering.
Kents, Web Developer
In the Philippines, Kents does not celebrate Thanksgiving. But that doesn't mean his family isn't preparing for holidays.
Kents recalls being a child and celebrating Christmas with family members and neighbors at his Grandpa's house. All the children would get together to play games like tag and hide and seek, while adults talked with one another all night long. At one point of the night, everyone sat around to watch fireworks go off into the sky.
It was a fun time for Kents, since he is an only child, it was a time to finally have other children to play with.
"I loved eating lechon, leche flan and my mom's sweet spaghetti." - Kents
Lechon is a roasted pig meal that is very popular in the Philippines. It is dressed with a special liver sauce and cooked for hours. Leche Flan is a pudding-like dessert originating from Spain that is topped with caramel syrup. Lastly, Kents enjoys spaghetti, but not just any spaghetti - sweet spaghetti. Kents' mom's version of Spaghetti is sweeter than your typical spaghetti.
Silvia, Digital Marketing Coordinator
Growing up, Silvia always experienced a culture collision. Both her parents share Native American roots, with African American, Spanish, and Salvadorian backgrounds mixed in, with this in mind, her Thanksgivings always included aspects from multiple cultures.
"Being biracial has made things interesting growing up. Your parents are merging different cultures together."
Though her favorite part of Thanksgiving is spending time with her family, food is a major factor.
"Since my mother is a mixture of Salvadorian and Spanish, we were never disappointed when it came down to holiday food." - Silvia
Spending hours in the kitchen, Silvia's mom, aunts, and grandmother were busy creating traditional Spanish and Salvadorian dishes such as pupusas, tamales, platanos fritos (AKA plantains), empanadas, and plenty more. For the most part, her father gave her mom space to do her thing, but would keep busy by providing dessert, typically lemon meringue pie.
Shruti, Social Media Coordinator
Three years ago, Shruti came to the US from India. Ever since then, she has celebrated Thanksgiving.
Since her and her family are vegetarians, they skip the turkey but feast on the pumpkin pie. Shruti loves seeing how the holidays bring a busy time for the mall and a new theme to the way people dress. She truly feels that the holiday season brightens up her neighborhood.
Like many families, Shruti's gather to enjoy a feast with one another. After eating, they become part of the Black Friday chaos. Aside from being thankful with aspects of her personal life, Shruti is also grateful in her work life.
"Thanksgiving is a wonderful time and there's so much gratitude all around. This year, I am thankful to my friends and family who have supported me through many changes and my awesome bosses here at Kulture Konnect who have always believed in me and my work. Happy Thanksgiving!" - Shruti
Mariana, Content Marketing Intern
In her home, Thanksgiving is a day filled with cooking and baking which starts the night before.
"My sister and I get up early in the morning to help my mom begin creating the Thanksgiving feast."
Though turkey is definitely her favorite dish to indulge in at the Thanksgiving, her mom's green bean casserole is a close second place. Every year, her family's Thanksgiving plates are filled with the same dishes, turkey, honey baked ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, Nana's famous potato salad, stuffing, green bean casserole, and biscuits with cranberry sauce and butter.
No one can touch their plate until everyone is served and hands are held while everyone shares something they are grateful for aloud. After dinner, her family divides into teams to play games like Pictionary and Family Feud, allowing more time for their stomachs to make room for pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake.
"My favorite part of Thanksgiving is spending time away from school, work, and electronics and being able to play fun social games with my family. I also love having for a week after, yum!"- Mariana
Happy Thanksgiving from the Kulture Konnect Team!