As a chronic people pleaser and a hardcore words of affirmation girlie, being grateful is an essential thing in my daily routine. I can easily say thanks approximately 15 to 20 times a day, depending on the conversations. Therefore, what does a holiday designated to saying thanks mean to me?
Let’s start off by saying that it’s not a day for stuffing myself with turkey. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever had a normal Thanksgiving dinner that’s based on having the table neatly set and plates filled with rice and turkey. Get this: the best Thanksgiving dinner I’ve ever had was in a McDonalds. Yep, you read that right… It was the year after Hurricane María hit Puerto Rico. We were still processing and trying to get over the disastrous effects it left. There weren’t a lot of dining places open to the public. However, that wasn’t going to stop us from celebrating this holiday. It was just me, my mom, and my little sister. And we were happy that we had the opportunity to bond over a Big Mac and the great things that life has given us, regardless of the obstacles we had faced.
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Although Thanksgiving is supposed to be a holiday to commemorate a fructose harvest, it has traveled around the world and adapted to each culture. Dare I say, the holiday has also been molded and adapted to each person. We all get to choose how to celebrate it—or maybe not celebrate it at all. This is the case for me as well. Despite the fact that I’m always saying thank you, I choose to celebrate this holiday with my family and friends. Why is that? Why would you keep promoting the idea of having just one day of the year towards being thankful? Easy. Many people forget to be thankful. They forget to be grateful for their achieved goals and miracles—as tiny as they can be.
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I think that Thanksgiving should be a day to reaffirm our beliefs and channel our gratitude in a concrete and focused way. Sit down with our families and friends in front of a luxurious and personal meal—that will probably last until the next week—while sharing anecdotes, stories, and bonding experiences.
Yes, we need relief, a day off. What better way to spend it than appreciating and being thankful for every single detail of our lives? It shall be a day to maintain beautiful traditions that, most of the time, end up far away from the original plan. It’s a day to make lovely memories and highlight the meaning of our words and actions.
I am aware many people don’t get the chance to spend this day as happily as they deserve. However, it is up to us to make the best of every moment. No family? Friends. No friends? Our pets, community, and ourselves. The biggest surprises we can get can come from those right in front of us.