"Rejoice! Give thanks with a grateful heart!"
What is it about traditions that helps add substance to our memories? The common thread that weaves in and out through the years, and makes us secure that at least some things can be the same.
Before Sydney came along I don't know that Jason and I had too many traditions of our own. We tried -- with varying degrees of success -- to be with both families and do what we had always done. Then Sydney came along, and we determined to start up some traditions of our own. So this year we are starting a new tradition for Thanksgiving. I know that Sydney won't really participate in it; I know that she won't particularly care what's going on. But that's not the point. The point is her growing up feeling connected to family and memories, and that some day she'll look back and feel the thread of traditions that weaves through her life.
Our new tradition is one that I read about a few weeks ago, so it is not unique to me or my family. The story goes something along the lines that during one of the winters after the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims faced severe starvation. They rationed out their corn so that they each received five kernels of corn. For each Thanksgiving thereafter, they placed five kernels of corn next to their plates to remind them to be thankful for all that they had received.
As we gather at our table this year--filled with far more than five kernels of corn--we will remember the blessings that we have received by placing five kernels next to our plate and sharing five things we are thankful for.
My five kernels of corn:
- I am thankful for my family. My husband who does so much, loves me dearly, and keeps me warm at night. My daughter who brings joy to my life every single day.
- I am thankful for my grandpa, and the lessons he instilled in me. He passed away this year, and I will miss his face at the head of the table.
- I am thankful for the men and women who are serving our country, especially for those who are away from their families during the holidays.
- I am thankful for the new friends I have made this year and the encouragement they have given me.
- I am thankful for Thanksgiving Day. A distinctly North American holiday that celebrates not wars or battles, but gratitude and blessings.
And look what I have...a kernel for each of you. So let's hear it. What are you thankful for?
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!