I love holidays. My absolute favorites are Thanksgiving and Christmas. Both of these holidays are about love, giving, kindness, thoughtfulness, and thankfulness. Since I can remember, Thanksgiving has always been a holiday of joy. It is only suiting that Christmas comes shortly after.
We always talk about what one has to be thankful for and this year, it means so much more to me-and I was not even sure why at first. I think I have it figured out.
When I was little, Thanksgiving always meant-food, family, friends. Each year we would go to my grandmother's house-the whole family, with a dash of friends-and we would eat, talk, laugh, and enjoy each others company. Never forgetting to take time to discuss what we are thankful for. I always had a couple of things that came to mind. I am thankful for my family, my friends, my life. As everyone in the family grew older, that traditional thanksgiving at grandmas was not the same. Did it still happen? Of course. But it was also clouded by everyones own Thanksgiving feasts. We all became adults, with families of our own, some moved away, and some gained extended family. Whatever the reason, once we all had SEVERAL Thanksgiving feasts, that one special one became less special.
I lost my grandma on December 26, 2008 and I think our family got a little lost as well. My two aunts that live out of state do not visit as frequent and therefore our family Thanksgiving gathering at Grandmommy's was no more. When they come, we still have something, but it is rarely planned well or celebrated on the day Thanksgiving falls on. (This is also a little of what had begun happening prior to Grandmommy's passing) With the family tradition becoming more of a task and less what I so loved growing up, it took away the joy of Thanksgiving, thus causing me to have conflict with what I was thankful for. This year I have a different outlook.
This is what brought back the joy that I had lost. It happened when my 5 year old came home from school and said, "Mama, we learned about the pilgrims and Thanksgiving today. We also learned about being thankful, and I want you to know that I am thankful for you. What are you thankful for?" This, warmed my soul and changed my feelings back to what they once were. It caused me to look at it through her sweet innocent eyes and truly see.
I realize that even when Thanksgiving was such a wonderful holiday to me years ago, I did not really grasp the meaning. With her simple, yet sweet statement, I realized that Thanksgiving is so much more. More than being thankful, it is a time where you can sit back and really think about your life. If I sat down and began to write a list of what I am thankful for, it would go on and on. It would be easier to answer what am i unthankful for. The answer to that would be, nothing. I am thankful for EVERYTHING-my daughters, my parents, my grandma, my aunts, uncles, niece and nephew, cousins, sister, friends-my loved ones period. I am thankful for my life, and I am thankful for the time I have had and any time I am blessed with in the future. The roof over my head, clothes on my back and shoes on my feet. I will leave it at that because as i said, I am thankful for everything. So, enjoy this holiday-full of happiness, love, family and friends-and food and giving-and next time someone asks you what you are thankful for, answer with your heart, it may open up a view that you or they could not even see.