Thanksgiving is a time for traditions — old and new


Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Another year has passed, leaving behind lots of warm and wonderful memories. This year, my daughter-in-law Debra, my granddaughters Keva, LaQuonia and Jamie, and my great-grandsons Jaylen and Tavaris, will have dinner at their Aunt Thelma's home. So, there will be no need for me to help with the feast, as was our tradition for the past three decades.

I will miss getting up early in the morning to put the turkey in the oven; making the stuffing (Jamie's favorite), collard greens (Rick's favorite) and sweet potato pies. For me it has always been a labor of love — a precious time for family. It never mattered to me how tired I was the next day.

My mom was a single mother. And it seems like I have been cooking Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners all my life. Mom used to work many of the holidays to make extra money. That included Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I think I was around 13 the first time I attempted to make a holiday diner. I can remember Momma telling me how to prepare the hen, mix the seasonings, spread it on the bird and then bake it at about 350 degrees until it was nice and brown. It must have turned out alright... I'm telling you about it today, more than 60 years later.

Momma would always tell me to "set the table, and you and your brother sit down together to eat." Sometime we'd wait for her to come home from work so we could eat together. Often after our meal, the three of us would sit by the window in the living room and sing gospel songs from an old hymnal. It was a simple and wonderful time for us.

With this, the first Thanksgiving since my son Rick died, maybe it's time for some new traditions. Maybe it’s time to pass on the roasting-of-the-turkey to my granddaughters.

But then, maybe they would like to start some traditions of their own. Maybe they won't even want turkey and the traditional trimmings. La Quonia probably would rather have fish, anyway. And my granddaughter Afra, who lives in New York, will have a totally vegetarian Thanksgiving.

Whatever my granddaughters decide to do, whatever traditions they decide to start, I'm hoping theirs will turn into wonderful memories. I'm wishing they will be able to look back, as I am today, and remember their Thanksgivings as wonderful times to be with family and friends.

Bishop’s birthday

Happy belated birthday to Bishop James Dean Adams, the pastor at St. John Institutional Missionary Baptist Church in Overtown.

Adams, who turned 53 on Saturday was honored by the congregation with a birthday luncheon on Sunday after the morning worship service.

According to Cecily Robinson-Duffie, the theme of the luncheon was "Fisher of Men," and the hall was decorated with fishing gear that included fishing rods and nets. "Deacon Walter Dennis is an artist," Robinson-Duffie said," and he had paper fish 'swimming' throughout the hall. It was so nice. Even the luncheon menu was seafood."

Here's to many more birthdays, Bishop.

St. Nicholas Lunch

St. Basil Catholic Church at 1475 NE 199th St. in North Miami Beach, will celebrate the annual St. Nicholas Luncheon at noon on Dec. 8 in the church's fellowship hall.

The program will include a performance by the children in the church. One of the highlights of the event is the visit from St. Nick. At that time, every child present will receive a gift.

Tickets for the occasion are $10 each for adults; $5 each for children 5-12 and children 4 and under are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the church hall, which is directly behind sanctuary.

All proceeds will be given to an outside charity. The Rev. Peter Lickman is pastor of the church.

Hanukkah with the Jewish Federation

Hanukkah will be celebrated from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Building, 4200 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami.

The event is sponsored by the Association for Jewish Special Education (AJSE) and there will be crafts, games, music, prizes and refreshments to include latkes (potato pancakes) and applesauce. The cost is $3 per person.

The AJSE is a local, private and non-profit organization with the mission to sponsor and manage celebrations for Jewish adults with developmental disabilities and their friends of other religions. To RSVP, call 305-205-3846 or 954-442-9624.

Hanukkah at school

The Scheck Hillel Community School will host a Hanukkah celebration for the entire community from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Dec. 3) at the school, 19000 NE 25th Ave. in North Miami Beach. The menorah lighting will be at 6:20 p.m.

The event will feature live performances, rides, face painting, and clowns. there will b e the traditional Hanukkah foods, including latkes and doughnuts.

In addition, there will be a band, orchestra and the theater students will perform. There will also be a drum line and the Upper School will perform a musical Broadway revue. Its free and open to the community.

Handel’s ‘Messiah’

The Miami Oratorio Society will perform its annual concert of G. F. Handel's Messiah at 6 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Highway Baptist Church, 14455 Memorial Hwy., in North Miami.

The timeless classical work was first performed in Dublin, Ireland in 1742, and since then has become a treasured part of the meaning and celebration of Christmas around the world, said Judy Feldman, a spokeswoman for the choir.

The Miami Oratorio Society is made up of a group of talented and dedicated choristers from varied South Florida cultures,who have been singing together since 1976. Directed by Andrew Anderson, the performance will also feature guest soloists.

Tickets are $20 each for adults and $10 each for children 8-12, and will be available at the door. You may also call Feldman at 305-891-1183 for tickets.

‘Meeting at the Manger’

The community is invited to the annual "Meeting at the Manger" Advent festival to be from 5 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 6, at First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables, 536 Coral Way.

The event will include drama and music and will be in the main parking lot of the church, just around the corner from the Coral Gables Holiday Spectacular at City Hall the same evening.

The church's event will feature a Nativity drama with goats, sheep and other animals from The Little Farm, that children can pet afterward. Also, from 5:30 to 6 p.m., there will be live music by The Growing Place preschool., and music throughout the evening by the church's contemporary Awakening Band. The sanctuary will be open and Music Director Jay Brooks will play Christmas music on one of South Florida's largest organs.

Children will enjoy an inflatable slide and a craft-making tent where there will be cookie decorating and ornament making. There will also be a bake sale to raise money for missions. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be available for sale and the church youth will give out free popcorn and cotton candy.

"Meeting at the Manger is such a great event for our church because it gives us the opportunity ... to welcome members of the community and share the Christmas story in many different ways," said Lindsay Corrales, event coordinator. "All are welcome to enjoy the Christmas carols, watch their children laugh and play, rest their feet and pray or meditate in our beautiful sanctuary."

For more information call 33305-445-2578 or visit:

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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