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Tastes, traditions make holidays special

December 21, 1995
Web posted at: 4:50 p.m. EST

From Correspondent Al Hinman

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Catch your breath and loosen your belt, the holiday season has kitchens busy and mouths watering. It's literally the "holiday-after-holiday" season, from Thanksgiving through Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa, all the way to New Year's Day. And each one brings its own special traditions and tastes as families gather.

For Laurie and Michael Minardi, helping their children decorate the family Christmas tree is a treasured yearly event. Like so many others, the Minardis view Christmas as a time to share and enjoy the traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation. (77K AIFF sound or 77K WAV sound)

Whatever the holiday, and whatever the special food, this season also has a knack for bringing people together in the kitchen.

Making houses Joan with kids Kwanzaa

Joan Nathan says making gingerbread houses, with their sweet-sticky icing, gives her important "family time" with her children. The holiday the Nathans celebrate is Hanukkah. Some of the Nathan family's holiday traditions come from European Christmas origins, but they're now wrapped up in the spirit of Hanukkah.

Gingerbread house

In another kitchen preparing for another holiday, Janet Saboor gets some help as she prepares a traditional dish for Kwanzaa. Created just 30 years ago, Kwanzaa is a holiday still searching for, and creating, traditions. (85K AIFF sound or 85K WAV sound)

Kwanzaa's origins go back to centuries-old African folk traditions. Each candle lit during the weeklong celebration between Christmas and New Year's has a special meaning. In addition to the spiritual side of Kwanzaa, there's the fellowship of friends and families together, sharing their favorite foods.

No matter what traditions and tastes are celebrated in your household, remember that if this long holiday season has filled you up, well, that's what New Year's resolutions are for.

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