Everyday is a day in which we should give thanks to the priceless treasures we have in life because one day we often find them gone forever. Thanksgiving Day for my family is not just a day to give thanks for such treasures as love shared but is a day of reflection on those in our family who have made the memories and treasures possible. The day before Thanksgiving my family joins together in preparing the holiday meal to be consumed by the family members who have traveled together to celebrate as a family unit.
The house is decorated in Thanksgiving décor such as pumpkins and husks outside and a big “Williams’ family Thanksgiving Union” banner hanging over the living room walkway. Each relative’s child or grandchild presents a specially carved pumpkin to place outside the home as a gift for those who have provided life to each of us. Hours are spent preparing the proper meals such as pumpkin pie, turkey, dressing, and other delicacies which are enjoyed by each member of the family. However, for our family Thanksgiving is special in that we join together to not only show thanks for what the Gods and Goddesses have given us in life but to pay tribute to the family members passed who made the memories and treasures we possess today possible.
On Thanksgiving Day in our home dinner awaits on the large kitchen table, the television plays in the background which usually is broadcasting the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and in each of the rooms are several white candles illuminating the memory of a past relative who we each hold close to our hearts. Each of the grandchildren who attend the union take turns in a family ceremony in which the grandchild lights the white candle in memory of a relative and says something they are thankful for that was made possible for those who we love from the past. After the ceremony is finished the family gathers around the table standing and joining hands while the host of the union says a prayer for those who are present and gives thanks for another day in life.
We eat Thanksgiving dinner as a family at the table and then convene to the living room to share in our stories of love, laughter, and life while the children and grandchildren will gather into the bedrooms or go outside to play amongst each other happily. As the union comes to an end and everyone has given thanks for the opportunity to join together in love each grandchild blows out the memory candle for the chosen relative and thanks the past relative and the current family members for joining together to participate in celebration and give thanks.