Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving Day may be my Christmas

This is our 2nd Thanksgiving Day celebration as immigrants and I must say I'm beginning to appreciate this day of reflecting on the blessings of life, without the fatigue and confusion of gift-giving and long Christmas lists.

My list of thanks has transformed this year: We rent a wonderful and clean house, with a big backyard. The kids have settled down in school. My eldest is working part-time while putting himself through community college. With the excellent grades he is getting, he is working on transferring to UC (Berkeley, Davis?) next year. With the way things are going, my son's one foot is out of the door--ready to spread his wings. He may have to come home for future holidays. But in the meantime, I relish the thought that we are all together.

My husband has settled down in his job despite the commute. The kids have not been sick (knock on wood!) and the best, best thing is that together, we face our life's challenges in good spirits, with the help of Yaya Syrel. And that essentially, we are all safe and sound.

My brothers are on the other coast and they are happy and thriving. My mom's second lease on life has been blessed. What she chooses to do with it may still unfold. My dad and my lola take care of each other. I have to be thankful that, though that family is not together, we all think of each other fondly.

I am thankful for my job, that allows me to work from home and yet, meet so many good people who continue to show me the way towards more evolving. I am thankful that I have not sold out to the rat race of work, work and work. I have time to tend to the kids and I have time to shoot pictures of the beautiful lake in the park. I am thankful for time to breathe.

I am thankful that, though financially tight sometimes, nakakaraos rin. In fact, being financially tight make us more appreciative, more grateful, and nearer to God--because we have to depend on His Hand to carry us through. Living simply continues to teach my children not to be complacent brats and it has taught me creative ways to endure.

I look forward to the next Thanksgiving dinner--a very laid back celebration without the pressure and frenzy of Christmas. And since some scholars debate on the actual date of Christ's birth to be October or November, this may have been very well Christmas to me. And though my mom made a beautiful 23-lb turkey, and my son played some tunes on his violin, while my daughter read the story of the first Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for the space Thanskgiving offered--a personal and private reflection of Christ's birth and presence in my life.

The day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday--the biggest sale event of the year. Stores open at 5 a.m. and laptops are sold for $199, everthing else is half-off. People line up at the entrance the night before, shivering in the cold, determined to get good deals for Christmas gifts. PS3 launched the week before to people who have pitched tents days before, eager to get their hands on the limited US supply. The actual event and was short of chaos and stampedes. Some stores and customers were held-up at gunpoint.

And though I am not a big fan of the Christmas frenzy, the casualness of Thanksgiving proves to be more endearing as we create new and fond family traditions that will anchor us through many years.


cathy_bythesea said...

Belated Happy Thanksgiving Minotte! I too have started to appreciate the beauty of this holiday - working with the Americans has made me attuned to Thanksgiving :) Glad to read that you are all well and happy. God bless!

tilamsik said...

Hi Cooks, reading your Thanksgiving post made me feel very peaceful. Thanks. Recently, I've been going on like a bullet train. Not easy to feel calm. The busy sked is tapering off, but I'm still in transition. Will try to keep myself abreast of your blog entries. They're also my way of keeping in touch with you. God bless. Rhea

Senor Enrique said...

Belated Happy Thanksgiving!

You sure have many blessings to be thankful for :)

gadgetsmart said...

Please tell Minotte that I just read her blog and really enjoyed it - after Milen directed me to it. I wish you both a very happy and momentous Christmas thankful of the past year and yet hopeful that the New Year will bring us peace and prosperity.

All the best to you, Minotte and your family,

Rene & Bettina