I am coming up for my 4th Thanksgiving and for my 5th Christmas in the USA. My first Christmas was in 2004 when I returned to the USA with Alan, and my first thanksgiving was the next year. When I lived in Australia, I looked upon Thanksgiving as just another holiday in the USA. Since being here, however, I have come to see it as a very special meal and a special day. I do not know whether others feel the way I do or even act the way I do, but for the week before Thanksgiving, I think about all the things I am thankful for. The list begins with one or two things but, as Thanksgiving gets closer, the list gets longer and longer.
I do try to be thankful every day for the many blessings I have, but for some reason the week before Thanksgiving is for me a special time. I cannot believe that I, an Australian, would be so affected by this American tradition. As for Christmas, I do not celebrate the Christian celebration of Jesus’ birth, but I do celebrate the holiday season. I was born in England and so for the first 28 years of my life, Christmas was always cold – so cold, that we would have to dig ourselves out of our driveway most Christmases because the snow was so thick. My memory is filled with pictures of my sled, the socks my mother saved, darned, and two or three pairs worn like mittens for throwing snowballs, chestnuts roasting on our fire, and a beautiful dinner each year – usually a goose or duck with chicken.
Then I went to Australia and, what a culture shock! Christmas was 40 degrees Celsius (104◦ F.), sticky and hot. It was difficult cooking a hot meal, but somehow we did it, trying not to faint in the heat of the kitchen with no air conditioning. (One year I did faint, but by hell or high water we were going to have our hot dinner which was roast pork that year.) The Christmas tree looked strange in a hot, Australian summer. One bought chocolate for the children, only to have a melted mess once one got home. I thought I had seen the last of a cold Christmas until 2004 when I came to the USA and had a very special Christmas with snow.
Since then, Christmas has been cold, and so wonderful. Do I miss the Australian Christmas? Yes, I miss being with my family, but that is all. However, with the advent of Skype, I can see my grandchildren open their presents on Christmas day in Australia and I can talk to my family and my friends. The Internet has brought us all so much closer. However, I do not miss the heat and humidity, the summer storms, and the attempts to cook a hot meal on a very hot Christmas day.
For me, I am thankful I have Alan at my side, my beautiful family in Australia, and the opportunity to have so many souls in the Spirit world to help me on this earth plane. I have food in my cupboard, a roof over my head, and a beautiful cat who is a wonderful companion. I have clothes on my back and in my closet. I have the opportunity to live in the USA and still be able to go back to Australia to visit friends and family. It goes on and on; I could fill a page with my blessings.
This Thanksgiving, think of your blessings. You may not think you have many, but we all have many. If one detaches and steps outside of our daily life with all its stress and worry, we can see a lot of very positive things about our life. Why not, like me, sit down and write down every one of your blessings? You will be so very surprised at how many you have and what you have to be thankful about.