Giving Thanks Holiday Traditions & Family Gatherings

By Genelle Chetcuti - VP of Marketing

It’s that time of year again, the leaves on the trees are falling, the air has a crisp feel to it, and the grocery stores are filling the shelves with seasonal items.

For me, the holiday time of year is a time of gratitude. Gratitude is a secret ingredient that plays a role in not only solidifying family relationships, but it is also the glue that holds family businesses like RW Garcia together. Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, plus it happens to be my absolute favorite holiday! It offers an opportunity for families to gather, honor their values and traditions, and to express what they are thankful for. With over 35 years of business under the belt, expressing gratitude to our employees, much in the same way we do with our family, has helped make RW Garcia the successful brand we are today. The deeply rooted values of the RW Garcia brand stem from those of my family which I am reminded of each year during Thanksgiving as we celebrate what we are grateful for.

Thankful for our wonderful employees

From its original intent of celebrating the bounty of the harvest in the new world, Thanksgiving has morphed into a day of feasting with family and friends. Although thoughts of the fourth Thursday in November typically conjure up images of roasted turkey and pumpkin pie, many families have also adopted unspoken customs and traditions that make the day unique to them. To me some of the quirky and time-honored classic traditions of my family are what I enjoy most about the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanksgiving for the Garcia’s and our extended family is celebrated annually at Margaret and Bob’s house. We all look forward to the same traditional homemade menu each year, with no need to discuss who brings what because it is always the same. On the Tuesday and Wednesday before the big day, the smells of freshly baked cheesecake, and Pumpkin, Pecan, and Apple Pies emanate from Margaret’s kitchen. My daughters and I are in charge of baking fresh butter rolls and we also make our own homemade cranberry sauce, always a crowd-pleaser and a wonderful accompaniment to turkey and all the trimmings. As far back as I can remember my 100-year old Grandmother has insisted on classic deviled eggs as one of our Thanksgiving appetizers and since I am responsible for all pre-dinner noshing I don’t dare deviate from this time-honored recipe, or I will definitely hear about it! The appetizer assortment also includes a crudité platter/charcuterie tray loaded with fresh, local vegetables, cheeses, and of course RW Garcia crackers.

Butter rolls are a must!

The feasting begins early – around 1pm. Football is playing on the TV and the appetizers are passed around since no one has eaten lunch in anticipation of the big meal to come. Then the turkey comes out of the oven and it’s time for our family and friends to gather around the table together. A very special tradition at our Thanksgiving table is to say what we are thankful for, starting with the eldest (my 100-year old Grandmother) who might give thanks for the health of her family, to the youngest who is certain that Pumpkin Pie with extra whipped cream is what she is most thankful for – oh, and family too.

One family tradition that I might like better than the actual feast, is the leftover party which always happens at my house the evening after Thanksgiving. Maybe your idea of perfect leftovers includes a loaded turkey sandwich with cranberry and maybe a little stuffing? Or perhaps you’ll decide to repurpose your leftovers into a new creation, like Turkey Chili Cheese Nachos with MixtBag tortilla chips? In our family, anything goes for round two of the Thanksgiving feast, and the recreating of new recipes is a fun tradition that our family has used to create meaningful memories and celebrate togetherness.

Bob carves the turkey with curious onlookers.

I am truly blessed to experience these holiday traditions every year with my family and friends. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from my family is that showing gratitude for what we have, yet being able to spread graciousness and goodwill to those who might not be as fortunate, is truly the spirit of giving. That’s why each year RW Garcia donates several pallets of product to local food banks in Las Vegas and North Carolina (where our manufacturing facilities are based). After all, the holidays are most importantly about giving back. I think we can all embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving day by taking time to give thanks for the people in our lives, whether it be family, friends, coworkers, the Uber driver, or the clerk working at the local mini-market when we have to make a last minute run for more butter.

Each year we donate extra product to local food banks for Thanksgiving & Christmas.

By giving back to our communities, in even the smallest of ways, we become more understanding of each other and the unspoken challenges we all face on a day-to-day basis. And so, the season of gratitude begins to come full circle as we reflect upon our appreciation of others, both those directly involved in our lives and those we might pass on the street every day. With gratitude we go beyond thankfulness; we acknowledge the goodness in our lives and then we add to it.

With gratitude, I wish you all the best this holiday season!

Created By
Dillon Draper


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