Thanksgiving and Family!
by LaMeka Howard

     Thanksgiving is coming, the leaves have fallen, the temperatures have dropped significantly, and the commercials are rolling it's Thanksgiving time.  It amazes me how television and social media show commercials, stores, advertisements, employers, and companies prepares our minds and our hearts for the holidays.  They show us togetherness, they show us family, they show us friendship, and they show us community.  Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes it makes us think, and sometimes it makes us cry.  Most of all, they repeat message by saying, “Let’s give thanks,” “Gather Round,” by Target, “Celebrate More This Thanksgiving,” by Publix, “Thanksgiving Dinner,” by McCormick, and Boston Market, “Let us make the food.”  They give us examples of family, and what is done during Thanksgiving with family, and how to govern ourselves accordingly.  It sets the atmosphere, and gets us motivated on our next holiday meal and how we can bring family together and have conversations.  We see families rushing to the grocery store to purchase either forgotten or last minute items; we see children, fathers, and uncles sneaking a piece of Turkey or a piece of pie in their mouths before everyone else eats--you''ll hear the grandma saying from kitchen, "I know you're in there sneaking a piece and you better keep your hands out off that food and wait until dinner;" we see children running and playing around the house; we see pies in the refrigerator; we smell the aroma of different spices in the air, and once those spices enters our nostrils, we want to eat now; we see family watching television, we hear grandfathers snoring and see them sleeping in the rocking chair, and see the spread of food on the table for dinner.  There's mash potatoes, Turkey, ham, green beans, collard greens, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, for some households homemade macaroni-and-cheese, rolls, yams, devil eggs and potato salad and so much more.  

     There’s happiness, there’s love, there’s games, there’s food, there’s laughter, there’s different generations, there’s fun, there’s music, there’s smiles, there’s cooks and cooking, there’s cleaning, there’s movies, there’s sleeping, there’s prayer, there’s stories shared, and there’s giving final moment of all: thanks.  This is a celebration to spend with loved-ones and close friends, sharing hugs and kisses, and letting one another know they’re loved.  After gathering around the table and feasting on our meals, we rush to the newspapers, watch commercials on the greatest deals, and rush in our cars and drive to the nearest store to be part of Black Friday deals.  It's the excitement, the rush, the moment that we've been waiting for: to get the hottest ticket items on this year's most wanted item.  That’s right, we wait in line from sun-down to set-up, in some parts of the country it's freezing cold temperatures, and then wait for the doors to open to run to the aisles where they have our items stocked.  That’s if someone else didn’t get it before you did. 

      After spending time with family, shopping and finding all of our Christmas gifts, it’s time to go home and decorate the house for Christmas, that’s if it wasn’t already done before Thanksgiving, and wrap Christmas gifts, and enjoy the rest of the month until Christmas day.  Overall, this holiday is important not to only to give thanks when we have what we need but give thanks to God even in our tough times  When we look at our situations, and we may think it could be different; however, let’s look on where we were before, what we have now, and how it’s helping us with our future.  Everything in life is precious, and the most valuable gifts that we have is either the seeds that we are, seeds that we planted or seeds that we have created through family, friends, and the people around us.   

 Since the year-end is close, we ask all of you to reflect the things that you’ve experienced this year, assess them, and figure-out what life has taught us and brought us through, and where it’s taking us too.  This is not only your time to reflect and be grateful, but be fruitful because when your grateful and thankful, it creates an incredible experience that resonates in your Spirit and that keeps the fire burning no matter what vicissitudes you have in life. Write down 12 things that you’re grateful and thankful for, and in times of hardship reflect and know our circumstances in life will recover.  If you would like to, you can also post, below, what you are most thankful for and share.  It's the Thanksgiving Effect.

     Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy family, laughter, and fun.

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