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Holiday Traditions


I’m a sucker for holiday traditions.  I love to hear all about what other families do at the holidays. I love to cook and love to eat, so each story gives me a new idea to add to my own holiday menu.

Earlier this month, I was attending a work function, and the subject of holiday traditions came up. I was surrounded by folks from places in Texas further south than my East Texas upbringing, and one of my favorite traditions came up—holiday tamales.

Ask anyone who hails from a Texas town west of Fort Worth and south of Austin and you’ll hear stories of holiday tamales.  EVP Corporate Services & Corporate Secretary Ron Ricks, a Texas border native, grew up eating tamales at the holidays. This year, his wife, Eileen, had a tamale-making party with her friends, and things turned out so well they are turning it into a yearly event.  Community Affairs & Grassroots Senior Manager Laura Nieto, a San Antonio native, filled me in on authentic tamale preparation which involves burying the pig’s entire head! Sounded incredible, but I may leave that part out of my tamale party!  Even our Chairman, President, and CEO Gary Kelly, another San Antonio native, piped in with his favorite place to get tamales for the holidays here in Dallas, a great place called La Popular.  Gary shared that he’d found it based on an Employee suggestion!  

Curious, I did a little digging, and this tradition was adopted by Texas from Mexico.  Over the years, families in Mexico all got together and made tamales together.  The process is fairly involved, so it provided a great chance for large families to catch up and bond while making great food.  Count me in!

So, writing this is making me hungry, I’m going to head out to La Popular’s booth at the Dallas Farmer’s Market.  If you have a family tradition or recipe you’d like to share, feel free to post it!  Happy Holidays!