Monday, November 23, 2009

Authentic Thankfulness

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

You see, I commandeered Thanksgiving from my family during my college years.

It was my holiday to do as I pleased - which may or may have included traditional holiday dinners with my family. My mom died in 1976 when I was almost 5 and until my dad remarried when I was close to 11 years old - holidays were kind of blah. Of course, we celebrated but they were really low key. (Hence my outrageous birthday celebrations - see post from November 17)

In college, my dad and step mom divorced so I decided that I was not obligated do Thanksgiving with anyone. Since this holiday is my favorite and fell in my favorite month of the year- it was game for the taking.

One year - I saw Michael Hutchence and INXS at the Aragon Ballroom. Michael sweat on me that night - quite possibly my best Thanksgiving ever.

Another year, I spent Thanksgiving in Marbella, Spain in a bar with a bunch of new friends from Holland, Spain and Portugal.

My first Thanksgiving with Isael was spent in Barcelona. We saw Fatboy Slim (a famous DJ that we had not idea who he was at the time) perform in a crowded theatre with our Norwegian roommate, Inca. Fun, fun.

There have been at least three Thanksgivings in Cuautla Mexico with my husband's family where we did a joint birthday celebration with his sister whose birthday is two days before mine.

And of course, there are the Thanksgivings where I cook my famous sweet potato pie and many sides to go with the Heavenly Ham I always purchase the day before.

Food, Friends, Family and of course FOOTBALL make this an amazing day.

As a mom, it has become my duty to keep my little ones from skipping Thanksgiving with all the Christmas hype that I did not have as a kid.

So this week, I have challenged my kids to be thankful and verbalize what they are thankful for in an effort to reinforce the importance of giving thanks, this week and always.

I must take my own advice... here goes....

I am thankful for my intimate relationship with my Maker that grows each day richer and deeper.

I am thankful for my marriage. What an amazing journey we've been on for the last 16 months and we are now hitting a new and better era of our lives together.

I am thankful for two healthy, bright and beautifully compassionate kids.

I am thankful for one living parent and many living relatives who care about us.

I am thankful for tremendous talents and gifts that I continue to hone for a greater purpose.

I am thankful for a fruitful career as a marketer and my current job.

I am thankful for the opportunity to serve my community as a elected official.

I am thankful for a vision that is coming together, each day, each moment.

If you haven't already - take a moment and physically record what you are thankful for... it does wonders for the soul.

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