Written By: Jeneene Connelly

The holidays are rooted in culture and tradition, similar to our values here at Common Threads. It is also a time to gather with family and friends, to make cherished memories, eat delicious traditional foods, and bring in the new year with the best intentions. This holiday season we encourage children and families to make new holiday traditions that celebrate food, culture, and the world around us.

Here are some ways to do so: 

  1. Holiday shop at a local farmer’s market. It is easy to get caught up in holiday online shopping or at a mall. But don’t forget about your local farmer’s markets where you can find locally grown produce, made from scratch foods to try, and unique handmade items that make excellent gifts. By shopping local, children and families can help support the community and make a new and exciting holiday tradition.
  2. Nod to the past. Holiday recipes tend to be passed down from generation to generation. Putting a spin on a cultural recipe, however, is an easy way to create a new traditional recipe while still keeping original key ingredients! For example, mixing our Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese recipe with the same cheese grandma uses for her traditional Mac & Cheese recipe can create a brand new recipe for the family to try. Creating new recipes while honoring the past traditional recipes can be seen as an exciting venture for you and your family! 
  3. Try a different cultural recipe. Trying traditional recipes from other cultures can be an inspiring way to explore and honor diversity with children and families. Here are some Common Threads recipes that honor different cultures during this Holiday season for you and your family to try: 

(Dec 26, 2021 – Jan 1, 2022)

Also known as Karamu, includes these foods commonly consumed on the sixth night of Kwanzaa

  • Shrimp & Okra Saute: sauteed and seasoned shrimp, okra, tomato, and onion served over brown rice
  • Egusi Soup: a flavorful soup made with sirloin beef, vegetables, and seasonings and topped with pumpkin seeds
  • Collard greens: a mix of cooked lentils, collard greens, and onions and seasoned to taste
New Years or Chinese New Year

(Jan. 1, 2022/ Lunar New Year, Feb. 1, 2022)

Both feature symbolic ingredients to bring you health and happiness in the new year!

  • Lebanese Fattoush Salad: A Mediterranean salad including lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, and toasted bread drizzled with a dressing made from pomegranates, a symbol of good luck.
  • Haitian JouMou: Traditional Jou Mou is made with beef marinated in Haitian Epis and pureed Kabocha squash with hearty vegetables like potatoes and carrots with aromatic onions, leeks, and garlic. This traditional soup is consumed in celebration on Jan. 1, honoring Haiti’s revolution and independence. 
  • Stir fry: a mix of vegetables, chicken and soba noodles, symbolic of longevity  sautéed in a flavorful sauce. Try our Cauliflower Stir Fry for a vegetarian option as many abstain from eating meat in celebration of Chinese New Year.
  • Ham Hocks & Black Eyed Peas: A traditional southern dish made up of stewed pork, vegetables, and black eyed peas has long been recognized as good luck. This dish is usually consumed on January 1, as a symbol of bringing in the new year with good fortune. 

Mixing up holiday traditions this year can be a fun and exciting new way to celebrate and honor the world around us but food will always be our Common Thread

Want more Holiday recipe inspiration this December? Make sure to download our holiday cookbook! Happy Holidays!