Share what you’re grateful this holiday season


Submit your favorite traditions, recipes, or sentiments here or use the #MACPAgrateful hashtag to be featured.


New Year’s Day Tradition

Submitted by Jackie Brown, CEO MACPA

I am #MACPAgrateful for traditions that bring joy and hope. I grew up in the South – my mom was from Louisiana and my dad from Mississippi. New Year’s Day was a favorite for me because we enjoyed foods with a purpose. It was a nice way to end the holidays and to think about the year ahead with hope for prosperity.

The traditional foods we ate were pork roast, cabbage and/or collard greens, cornbread and black eyed peas . . . they are my favorite!

There’s evidence that people ate black-eyed peas for luck as early as 500 A.D. as a part of the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. But the tradition of eating black-eyed peas with rice is African in origin. I find the rice is necessary because the saltiness of the seasonings and bacon can be too much for some. Southerners are known for a heavy hand with salt!

Good news is, they are super easy to make.

Here’s my recipe: Black-Eyed Peas 

Traditions That Bring Us Together

Submitted by Amy Puente, MACPA

I am #MACPAgrateful for having family nearby to be with each year around the holidays. Life is so busy that even though we all live close to one another, it’s the holiday season and our traditions that bring us together this time of year.

Thanksgiving is my favorite time to gather with family and friends, watch football, enjoy all the delicious food and truly recognize how grateful we are for so many blessings.

Speaking of food, it’s only at Thanksgiving that I indulge in having sweet potato pie (with brown sugar and pecans) and a few slices of apple pie over the holiday. Everyone brings their signature or favorite dish. I make sure to make the sweet potato and apple pie because I’ll definitely be enjoying them!

Here’s my sweet potato recipe

Love While You Can, And Be Grateful

Submitted by Bill Sheridan, MACPA

I’m grateful for family this year. I lost a sister in June, a sibling my age who died of COVID. The pain of that loss is indescribable. And yet … I have four other siblings who bring me joy, and peace, and laughter, and love, every day. It’s our first without her, but the memories remain, and I’m grateful for them … and for the rest of my family who are still here with me. I’m eternally grateful for the time I’ve had with my lost sister, and for the time I have to come with my remaining siblings. Don’t EVER take time for granted.

Love while you can, and be grateful for that time. Enjoy each day, friends, because each day is a gift worthy of our gratitude.

"I'm Thankful for... Mommy"

Submitted by Lauren McDonough, MACPA

I am #MACPAgrateful for my family and all the smiles we get to share together. This time of year is so fun! Yesterday, my son came home with a Thanksgiving placemat that he made during Pre-K, at the top, it said, “I’m Thankful for… Mommy”.

My favorite family tradition is baking and decorating cookies with my kids on Christmas Eve, I have a 1, 4, and 6 year old. We leave them out for Santa and give them to family members on Christmas day. We make sugar cookies and cream cheese frosting from scratch. It’s the one day of the year we completely destroy the kitchen, I’m talking eggs dropped on the floor by tiny hands and cookie dough on the ceiling from the mixers going too fast. There’s flour, sprinkles, and about 20 different colors of frosting everywhere. It’s messy, but so much fun and I look forward to it each Christmas Eve!

Here’s my Cream Cheese Frosting recipe

Listening to Greek Music, Cooking, and Baking

Submitted by Lexy Kessler

The day before Thanksgiving is a favorite for me!

I love to bake but rarely take time to do it. During the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, I make the time because my family enjoys what I prepare and I have a blast doing it.

So my favorite tradition is spending the day before turkey day listening to Greek music, cooking and baking. It really puts me in the holiday mood!

Enjoy the day and happy holidays all!

Health, Family, Friends, and Time Together

Submitted by Cora Edward, MACPA

I am #MACPAgrateful for the health of my family and all of the wonderful chances to laugh and have fun.

My son’s family moved back to Maryland after many years out of state just last year. We take every moment we can to get together and have family time!

I have so much to be grateful for it’s hard to pick just one thing! Health, Family, friends and time together are just the best!

Every year my sister and I cross stitch little Christmas ornaments for each of the kids, grandkids and grandnieces! Just a little love to share the miles and smiles!

Grateful for Being Grateful

Submitted by Val Venus

I am grateful for being grateful. It’s the Monday after thanksgiving and I m still thankful. I’m thankful for a place of work where I don’t have to dread Mondays, thankful for health where I can get up and do the things that make me happy, thankful for family that lives close by that I can see regularly.

Two Thanksgiving Celebrations

Submitted by Laura Swann, MACPA

Thanksgiving Tradition: When I think of holiday traditions, I am grateful to be the youngest of 7 children. Our family was big to start with and being the youngest, some of my siblings were already married and having children of their own while I was still a teenager living at home. We wanted to share Thanksgiving together but as more and more in-laws were being added, it was hard to get everyone together at the same time and on the same day; there were more and more “other-side” of the families and schedules to work with.

At some point, it became a tradition to celebrate Thanksgiving on the Saturday after, instead of on the day of. This gave us all a chance to be together without having to leave early and without questioning when and where we would be. Two Thanksgiving celebrations with all the trimmings are always better than one, right?!

I inherited a love for pie from my mom and dad, and especially our homemade pie crust, often made at the eleventh hour (literally 11:00 pm). So many varieties of fruit pies, from the traditional apple and pumpkin, to black & blue (blackberry & blueberry), sweet potato, and cheese pie but my favorite has always been chocolate pie.

Chocolate Pie Recipe

Family and Traditions

Submitted by Kelly Brown, MACPA

I am #MACPAgrateful for family and traditions. Every year I bake Chocolate Snowflake cookies during the holidays, which reminds me of my childhood. My love of baking started when I was very young, my grandmother “Granny” was an incredible baker and had a heart of gold. My Granny would spend hours teaching me and my sister how to bake, along with sharing stories of her childhood.

These are a family favorite at my home.

Chocolate Snowflake Cookies

Love This Time of Year!

Submitted by Natalie Antonakas, MACPA

Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year! It is all about food and family for us! The kids and I bake the night before and spend Thanksgiving morning cooking while watching the parade. We wait for our grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to join us. It is always a fun time! Once everyone leaves that evening we pick out a holiday movie to watch. Love this time of year!!

Family, Friends, Clients, Colleagues

Submitted by Stacey Milbourne, MACPA

Over the past 7+ years, it’s been a long haul for me. I’ve lost most of the close relatives of my family, including my mother and father. I was also the caretaker for both Mom and Dad, and it’s a thankless job in one sense, being that you know the final outcome will not be a good one. The satisfaction comes from giving them as much time here as possible, and making the final journey as easy and comfortable as you can.

What I am grateful for is for friends that understand your situation, help as much as possible, and are always there for moral support. I’m grateful for the other caretakers who assisted me during this time. I’ve often wondered how I would have made it without them. Caretaking is a thankless job sometimes, but it is one of the most noble things one can do – help another person get through life until their final departure.

I’m grateful for my clients. While some can be difficult, the vast majority have been understanding and, in many cases, helpful as well. (Some have even asked if I would do the same things for them! I’ve told them I will “advise and consent” but not take full charge – twice in one lifetime is enough!)

Finally, I’m grateful for my colleagues and the people at MACPA. They have been totally understanding of my situation and willing to provide help and support when needed or asked for. We can’t ask for better people in our organization. Even though we lost Tom Hood this year (actually, we didn’t lose him – just like George Jefferson, he “moved on up to that big, deluxe apartment in the sky” called the AICPA!), the staff kept right on “keeping on” and are still doing a fantastic job! So, I’d urge everyone to give a big “shout out” to the staff at MACPA, and let’s get back to “life as normal” in 2022.

Submit what you’re #MACPAgrateful for here:

  • Share you favorite holiday memory, tradition, or recipe here along with a photo.
  • Drop files here or
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