Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A thought on Thanksgiving

As everyone seems to be gearing up for the upcoming turkey day, I can't help but feel a little lost. I have much to be thankful for and I am profoundly grateful for it all.

The holidays seems to always be a rough one for theFamilyC because of conflicting expectations. Back home, we celebrated almost everything. When my brothers and I were younger, we celebrated Christmas, New year's, Chinese New year and birthdays (there were a lot of birthdays). Well, our version of a celebration really meant that we had a home cooked special meal or we went out to lunch or dinner as a family. Those were the times when we were allowed to have soda (or soft drinks). G's family is quite the opposite. They seem to celebrate nothing. I understand not celebrating the Hallmark holidays (ie made up ones like valentine's) or holidays that were more "american" like Thanksgiving. However they don't celebrate anything. After the death of G's grandfather, I can only remember once when most of the members of his small extended family gathered together. Even then, they gathered in shifts while we were at dimsum. The whole family was never together all at once. That seems really sad to me.

Aside from a tradition of celebrating, I like marking these holidays because it forces me to pause, to break from the rhythm of my usual days and acknowledge the people around me. A case can be made that this is something that should be done at all times but it is nice to have these days as reminders. More importantly, I think celebrating as a family reinforces a sense of family, a sense of belonging to a tribe.

I have my own selfish reasons for wanting to celebrate (I personally love the "feeling".) However I want to instill in my kids the same sense of excitement and more importantly, the same sense of family, a family that is beyond the nuclear one that they are exposed to daily). This is one lesson I will have a lot of fun teaching.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving from our familyC to yours!
R & E