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Happy Thanksgiving table We Gather Together

Giving thanks and moving forward into 2018

Yeap, this time of year again for giving thanks! Since when being thankful is an annual event escapes to me but after reading this very funny list RON HART: Thoughts on Thanksgiving and the year, I’m encouraged to write my own random list of Thanksgiving giving thanks thoughts. It goes like this.

Happy Thanksgiving table We Gather Together giving thanks

This year I am grateful for…

  1. My health
  2. My family
  3. The people in my life who help me be a better person –although I growl at them sometimes…
  4. The people in my life who support my vision and my efforts –and those are many!
  5. Having the ability to isolate myself and my work from the shenanigan going on in the world
  6. Hard working Latinas building community around the country every day
  7. Having shelter, food, and a little extra to help those who do not have it
  8. For my new friends –filling the void for the ones who left this year, who will always be missed

You may be interested: Thanksgiving a tradition Latinos learn to cherish

I wish I could be grateful for…

  1. Women supporting other women more often
  2. A world where everybody would really care for one another and not just PC/BS talking –where color is not a divider, privilege is not an entitlement and money is not a purpose
  3. Things going great in our country
  4. Less women coming out on sexual harassment charges –which would mean more men zipping up their pants
  5. Less guns –no guns in fact even better- a world where the profit of some is not exchanged by the lives of many
  6. No wars – a world in which war is not a business that gives some nations the privilege to dominate others and interfere in their decisions
  7. Universal healthcare –a world in which my life is not being decided by profits
  8. Environmental protection –a world that we can keep and pass on to future generations

Giving thanks an every day task

I am stopping at that in an effort to make even my giving thanks lists. In truth, no matter what happens around our world, the best way to make it a better place for all of us is to do the next right thing every day of the year, and being grateful around the clock.

After all, my grandmother used to say, “Be grateful and eat all your food because people are starving in China.” Never made any sense how me getting fat would help Chinese people but hey, it seems it did because China has become a hell of a country!

 

Happy Thanksgiving table We Gather Together

Thanksgiving a tradition Latinos learn to cherish

It was our first year as an immigrant family. A few days before Thanksgiving,  a small yellowish envelope with little illustrations of red leaves and orange pumpkins arrived at the house: An invitation to celebrate our first Thanksgiving with new friends in the United States.

My family and I arrived in the United States a sunny day in June of 1990. First, it felt like a nice long vacation but the children started school in September and soon winter came over us like a heavy dark blanket. As many immigrants, we had no family or friends, just my husband’s work acquaintances.

Happy Thanksgiving table We Gather Together

Later in November, preparations for Thanksgiving Day started around us. The children brought comments and stories from school and anxiously were asking how we were about to celebrate. In my heart, I was feeling sad that we had no family members with whom to get together but did not want to share the sentiment with the kids, at the time nine and 13.

A few days before Thanksgiving, a small yellowish envelope with little illustrations of red leaves and orange pumpkins arrived at the house: An invitation to celebrate our first Thanksgiving with new friends in the United States. That day, it was not only the beginning of a thankful tradition but also of a friendship that has lasted a lifetime.

Since then, we adopted Thanksgiving Day as our own tradition and we celebrate it each year, maybe not with the same meaning as Americans do but with our own sense of gratitude for all the blessing we receive on a daily basis. Here are some I’d like to share with you:

  • Thanksgiving Day is a day to celebrate living in harmony with each other

As those pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts, we are thankful for the opportunities we found in this country and the people who have opened their homes and their hearts to help us. We have learned to live and share our experiences with families from all ancestries, races, religions and other differences that make us appreciate the value of diversity.

  • We welcome those who arrive now as well as those who arrived then

The history of this country is based on the immigrant experience. From the pilgrims looking for religious freedom to those who were forced to arrive in this land through slavery, and from the waves of immigrants who fled wars, famine or political persecution to those who continue to arrive today in search for better life opportunities, we must open our arms and invite them to our tables.

  • Latinos are a grateful culture and we count our blessings

Overall, our shared Christian tradition encourages Latinos to be grateful for the blessings we received. Not everybody is lucky –as we were– to be welcomed in someone else’s home. However, we still need to remember that no matter the circumstances we live in or the challenges we face, we can always find reasons and people to be grateful for: our children and grandchildren, our family –close or extended- our friends and colleagues, and all those who come to our lives to share theirs with us.

  • Make it a day to remember your reasons and your people to be thankful for

My gratitude goes to all who have opened doors for me and my family since we arrived that sunny day in 1990. Some of those doors were their homes’, their offices’ or their hearts’ but one by one they helped us build our life in our new adopted homeland.

¿Y tú, por qué estás agradecido?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” United States Declaration of Independence