Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday. I’ve always loved sleeping in and waking up to the smell of food. I loved eating a giant meal with my family every year. We always went around the table to say what we were thankful for. Then we would nap and after 6, we always watched Christmas Vacation.
Those holiday memories have drastically changed for me. A few years ago, my family circumstances changed and we went through extremely hard times. I remember 2 years ago I couldn’t think of one thing to be thankful for. Last year it was a little easier. This year, I have so much to be thankful for.
When I think about the very first Thanksgiving, I can relate to their hard times, especially these last few years for myself. In 1621, the pilgrims came across the Atlantic Ocean with intentions to start a new life. The first winter here, many of these people stayed on-board their ship because the winter was so brutal. When spring came, the ones that survived were greeted by Native Americans who showed them how to grow corn, get maple from trees, catch fish and stay away from poison plants. The next November, the pilgrims’ harvest was successful and the governor organized a celebratory feast with the pilgrims and the Native Americans.
Each story I’ve read about our history that relates to this holiday has strife and then survival to celebrate. It shows me that no matter how hard times can be, we can make it through and we should be thankful for our successes.
This year my list of what I’m thankful for is long. I’m so thankful and appreciative for my friends. Without my true friends, I don’t know that I would’ve made it through the hard times. These are the people that pushed, listened, supported, cried and were there for me and with me when I really wanted to give up. My friends have given me so much to be happy for. I value each of these people and I hope that I can show them the same kindness and love throughout our lives. They are all very special.
I’m thankful for my family, the people that shape me. They are there and they accept me as I am. I am thankful that I have a bed to sleep on, that I can get up each day to have a cup of coffee and have the choice to eat whatever I want. I’m thankful I have a job to go to and I have the opportunity to go to school. I’m thankful for my pets that entertain me daily and test my patience.
There are so many things; my list could go on for pages. It’s not the materialistic things that matter to me really; it’s the relationships I have that mean the most. I value that I have a choice in everything I do, that no one makes decisions for me. Is it possible that when we really think about what Thanksgiving is, we can understand the value to life?
Thanksgiving this year is important and is a big deal to me. I want to celebrate this year. I have come through the swamps to find clear water and I want everyone around me to know how fortunate I feel to have made it. Do the people you love and appreciate know how much you appreciate them? This is the day of the year that it’s perfectly acceptable to be a total sap and tell everyone you love them and value their relationship.
To everyone this year, I wish you the happiest Thanksgiving. I think this year we all have something to be thankful for, each other.