Today, this last Thursday of November, Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving. The holiday was initially started in the 1600s to celebrate the Pilgrims’ safe arrival in America, and to give thanks for the year’s successful harvests. Today, Thanksgiving is the largest and most popular holiday in the US, as all Americans, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion, celebrate it. Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather together, and give thanks for their many blessings. The holiday is centered on a feast served on Thanksgiving Day, usually composed of turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, green beans, and other veggies and side dishes. And then there’s dessert. Pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie… this is a holiday focused on family, friendship and food – what more could you ask for?
Despite not growing up celebrating this holiday, it became one of my favorite special occasions over the 11 years I spent living in the US. My family usually marks the day with a special meal here in Palawan, and we gather with family and friends to give thanks.
As I think of thanksgiving, I think of all the things I am grateful for:
- I am thankful for my amazing extended family, from my original nuclear family, to my husband and kids, to my husband’s family, my sister’s family and in-laws, and my brother’s family and in-laws.
- I am thankful for all of our friends, scattered all over the world. Each of you has a special place in my heart.
- I am thankful for Roots of Health, and the fact that through our work, we can improve the lives of thousands of women, young people and families in our communities.
- I am thankful for my peaceful home in Puerto Princesa. What our city lacks in sophistication and infrastructure, it makes up for with its natural beauty and charm.
- I am thankful for the Philippines. While our country has it’s fair share of challenges, we have so many great things going for us, not least of which is the relative peace and safety we enjoy.
Wishing you all a happy thanksgiving and hope you will take some time to reflect on the things that you are thankful for!