Season of Gratitude……Happy Thanksgiving

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When I was a kid, Christmas was my favorite holiday of all. I loved making my Christmas list, and then going to bed early on Christmas Eve to make sure Santa made it to my house and I didn’t spoil my surprise.  Funny how things have changed!

Now that I am an adult and live away from my family and close friends, I see things a little differently. Thanksgiving has taken the number one spot for my favorite holiday for so many reasons.  It is the holiday of gratitude and “no pressure”.  It is the holiday to spend time with loved ones and say, “THANK YOU!” to God for his many blessings.  It really doesn’t get better than that!

I asked a few close friends to share their thoughts about Thanksgiving and their favorite childhood memory.  It’s always a joy to see what the holiday means to others.

Barbara Gray:  Barbara Gray

“Thanksgiving is a daily occurrence in which I acknowledge God for his mercy. To take a special day and be grateful for family and friends is the beginning of my year’s cleansing while all old thoughts are purged allowing new ones to seed. It also means to never forget those that are less fortunate and help as much as I can.

“My favorite childhood memory is of my Dad saying that family is our real wealth. I loved the way he made sure that family time set aside everyday, but especially on Thanksgiving was spent with quality time, laughing, and living. Thank you Nelson C Gray for my spiritual foundation. Namaste!”

James Sandman:    Jim Sandman                                                                                                                                                 

“ Thanksgiving is an opportunity for me to express my gratitude for God’s greatest gift to me: my family.                             

“My favorite childhood memory of Thanksgiving is singing “Over the River and Through the Woods” on our way to my grandparents’ house, although there was no river, no woods, and most times no snow.”

Lisette Castillo:

“We all have one memorable thanksgiving story to tell. But for me this one was especially memorable. It was one that I have never Lisette Cforgotten. Growing up in the city of San Francisco and having a million family members it was hard to get us all together and under the same roof on a special day like Thanksgiving”. 

“I was about 13 and my mother was fixing thanksgiving dinner like she always did. Not entirely sure who was coming she decided to put together a feast. Not only did her side of the family show up, but my fathers side was also present. Family members who had not spoken in years due to feuds in the past or the distance that caused for little to no contact. On that day and at that moment all was set aside. That day was devoted to seal and settle all differences, be thankful for being family and of course new beginnings.” 

“Today, I follow my mothers traditions. Now I host, connect and chose to not allow my indifferences or that of others take over my joy and blessings”. 

Dedrick Makle:

“Thanksgiving means “Practicing Gratitude”.  Gratitude is a constant attitude of thankfulness and appreciation for life as it unfolds. DWM Living in the moment, we are open to the abundance around us and within us.  We should express appreciation freely and daily, not just on this one day.  As we contemplate the richness of our life, we should also seek to understand, accept and learn the continual celebration of life”.

“While growing up and visiting my dad’s mother (granny), I remember the day before turkey day granny, cousins and I would make an early morning trip to Baden Grocery and Grimes, the only grocery stores in the little town of Brandywine, MD.  My granny would fill the basket(s) with all sorts of “cakes and jellies” (what I called food as a child). I remember thinking, why is she buying all this food for just one day? Later that afternoon, we would pick the greens, corn and other veggies from the garden and get the eggs from the hen house (without being attacked by Mr. Rooster)”.

“Well, granny would stay up all night through the next morning.. Like christmas, I would wake up and see pies, cakes, turkey, ham, yams, corn, fresh preservatives, homemade biscuits, collard greens, kale, and I could go on and on.. I cherish that memory until this day and hole heartedly believe she is the reason I love to cook like I do”.


Happy Thanksgiving!!! May this holiday season be full of love, laughter and great meals!


If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.

~ Meister Eckhart