Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I’m from a Southern family where Food is the event. Yes, that’s a proper noun. Turkey and chicken dressing, greens, beans, homemade baked cakes and pies and whatever else you can imagine is always lovingly prepared. But outside of all the delicious preparations nothing compares to the center of why we really gather. Family.
Family. And by family I mean immediate and extended. It’s the one consistent in every holiday, every up, every down and every good time. There is nothing like family. My family is supportive and keep me grounded. From my mother to my brother, to aunts, uncles and cousins, they keep a tradition of get togethers filled with laughter. Not that we don’t have bad times. We’ve definitely had our losses and woes. We have a potpourri of personalities that sometimes make it challenging. But we, as a family, have been able to withstand even those bad times. There’s strength in that. As I think it over, there are several characteristics that I’m pretty sure my family possesses.
So no one in our family is perfect. Of course that comes as no surprise. At some point, each of us has probably committed some transgression against another. But the one thing I’ve realized is my family believes in forgiveness. And sometimes I’ve had to stop and reflect how important this glue of forgiveness really is. As one who has been much slower than others to forgive, I’ve been able to see how the act of forgiving keeps our family together.
We’ve got some real comedians in my family. While I can be serious and rigid, I’ve noticed how humor has gotten through my family through some tough times. What I’ve learned is that sometimes, taking a moment and just focusing on the funny things. Even if that means I might be at the butt of that joke, humor has certainly served as way to lighten things up. It’s my family’s humor that teaches me not to take myself too seriously and breathe.
So I believe it could go without saying. At the center of my family are matriarchs and patriarchs who don’t just say. They do; they show. They demonstrate love by showing up, being present, checking in, sharing and simply caring. Traditions, whether old or new, help cement my family’s love. I can easily identify my family’s love in cooking, singing and talking. I’m so thankful that even though I may be miles away, I always know there’s family love not too far away.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? What are some of your family’s values and traits? Post a comment below or Tweet at @happymindscandc or Facebook @HappyMindsCounselingandConsulting