PictureMy Childhood Thanksgiving Memories.

Every fourth Thursday in November welcomes Thanksgiving Day in the United States. From my childhood memories, the first biggest meal of the year had always been prepared and cooked by my mother and I.

We had a small family, just my mother, sister and me. However, it would only be the two of us cooking on the night before Thanksgiving because my sister refused to stay up past 10 o’clock.

I can still remember the aromas of the oven roasted turkey, homemade stuffing, fresh butter kale and freshly made sweet potato and pumpkin pies. Thanksgiving would not be the same without these aromas.

I remember sitting on my knees in a chair at the dining room table chopping up celery and potatoes, while talking and laughing with my mother about everything. It was difficult to resist the yearning of the palate, so my mother started a little tradition — the “pre-dinner taste test.”

She would fix a plate with a dab of everything that was cooked, with the unfortunate exception of the desserts, and we would eat and go to bed.

Many years have passed and life took everyone in different directions. My sister lives in another city, and my mother has endured some health issues, but one thing remains the same — my mother and I still laugh, talk and cook Thanksgiving dinner together.

Six Reasons To Be Thankful

Food makes Thanksgiving an unforgettable holiday, however the meaning behind this holiday is more profound than people are willing to slow down and notice. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on and give thanks to God for all the blessings in your life that is often overlooked and taken for granted.

1. Family and friends. If you are fortunate to have people in your life that has encouraged you, stuck by you and loved you during your wackiest moments, thank them for their love, patience and understanding and thank God for understanding who you are to place you around people who can give strong love.

2. Freedom. Since the Revolutionary War, many soldiers of various ethnic backgrounds have lost their lives, so that we can live as freely as we live today. We are not bounded by communism. We can express our opinions, dress the way we desire, worship freely and not be condemned because of our nationality or the color of our skin. Let us thank God that we are apart of a democracy rather than communism.

3. Fresh water. Water is a necessity for every form of life on this planet. We could not exist without it because we need it for drinking, bathing and cooking. Oftentimes, we take this simple yet significant necessity for granted and rarely give thought to the billions of people in countries, such as Chad, Haiti, Cambodia, Laos, Rwanda and Bangladesh who are in dire need of fresh water.

4. God’s love. God gave His only Son, so that we might have life more abundantly. That is and will always be the greatest example of love toward all mankind.

5. Medical assistance. We complain about the costs of healthcare and how long it takes for the doctor to see us, but for one-third of the world’s population there is no medical assistance to complain about. Billions of people, including children are dying of treatable diseases because they live in poverty and there is an inadequate number of doctors. They cannot afford prescription or over-the-counter medications that we jump into our cars and pick up at the nearest pharmacy.

6. Shelter. Unfortunately, the homeless population in the U.S. is increasing. Homes are being foreclosed on, families are being evicted and forced to live on the streets. If we have a roof over our heads, food in the refrigerator and warmth than we should be thankful because it is much more than some folks have.

Many of us have a dream of an ideal house that is equipped with the latest in modern conveniences and enough square feet to put a football stadium to shame. However, there are so many that wish they had what we were blessed with already.

In All Things Give Thanks

The world has a way of making you feel like you are missing out on things. Every other year, there is an update to an existing electronic or a new electronic replacing the one you stood in line all day for last year. If you don’t get it, you actually have a feeling of inadequacy.

Is it really necessary to measure your importance to the attainability of the newest update or electronic? When you purchase something, try being grateful for it. Do not allow greed to destroy simple moments of pleasure. You’ll never be truly fulfilled if you do not learn to appreciate what you already have. A thankful heart allows you to ignore the cares of the world.

This Thanksgiving, before you carve the turkey, bow your head and count your blessings. Forget about all the things you want and be grateful for what you have. Say a prayer for the forgotten and give love.

 

Thanksgiving: Count Your Blessings

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