Thanksgiving is about sharing and giving thanks. I married into a Romanian family who had never celebrated this American Holiday. It made me sit back and think about the meaning and why did we celebrate this day? I was brought up with the idea that Thanksgiving was a day to spend with family and reflect on what we had whether it was material things or the love and support given to us by those around.
I can remember when I was in High School and we had a food drive. I collected canned goods and encouraged my classmates to do the same. I wanted to give the opportunity to those less fortunate to enjoy a meal on Thanksgiving Day.
Bringing up a boy and a girl, I also influenced this day as a day to help the less fortunate even when we were the ones who were less fortunate. The day after Thanksgiving 2003 we were forced out of our home chased by a blaze of fire. We lost everything, even the Christmas gifts that we had purchased and stashed away for the kids. However, the community came together every day for weeks bringing us clothes, food and gifts. What I had taught my children to do was coming full forth back to us.
So, as I sit and ponder about my best Thanksgiving Day I think about when my Romanian extended family piled into my home. I spent the day roasting a turkey, baking desserts, homemade bread, stuffing and everything else that makes up a Thanksgiving Day meal. Creating the perfect meal to share with people who had never experienced this special day, I was able to share with them what I thought it meant to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Romanian was heard throughout the evening as very little English is spoken. Smiles pursed upon their faces and love poured out from their souls. This was the true meaning of Thanksgiving.