Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday (besides Halloween when I was younger). I get that warm feeling in my heart and body that many people experience around Christmas. I've always enjoyed the chaos of Thanksgiving morning and afternoon. Helping my mom cook and embracing each family member, extended and blood, as they arrived to make a full house. I also enjoyed going to Bakersfield with the other side of my family to eat, share and laugh with family members whom I scarcely see.
Thanksgiving has worked wonders in that it's always been the time of year when even the family members who aren't particularly fond of each other, come together to break bread. It's also a time when people temporarily let go or put to rest their stressed or overwhelming responsibilities.
Finally sitting at the dinner table with family, friends and the delicious food everyone contributed to in some way, we would share what we were grateful for. Looking around the table and seeing the joy and smiles on everyone's face, it was always obvious what I had to be grateful for. Every year my mom always encouraged me to invite friends or people I knew who didn't have a home or family to spend the holiday with, and we would often spend time at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
I don't celebrate Thanksgiving to commemorate the pilgrims or their slaughtering of the Native Americans, but to give thanks for all the blesssings I have in my life. Thanksgiving is a time to remind those that are in my life that I love and appreciate all that they are and do, and also share with those that are less fortunate.