WHY I STOPPED CELEBRATING THANKSGIVING WITH MY FAMILY


         As I keep training myself to be the best version of myselfand grow as a women, a mother and a business woman I had to make new choices inmy life that goes according to my values and leave behind my old traditions andmake new ones. 

               For years I celebrated thanksgiving with my parents, siblings and other family members, I honestly have good memories of Thanksgiving, I always counted the days for this so I could eat a lot and the traditional Puertorican meals which is yellow rice with peas, turkey, potato salad, gravy and bread, oh and pastels.

             Everything started to change when afew years back I moved to Virginia and celebrated my first Thanksgiving overthere.  I absolutely fall in love withtheir traditions.  In Puerto Rico thereis no season changes so the spirit is really not that big of a deal, allPuertorrican care about this day is the food. But in Virginia it was fall, everything around me was different, theflavors of the season are new but amazing, the meals are different and the waythey celebrate is also different.  The experiencewas 100% new in all the way. 

My son doing his first sweet potato casserole

            You see what I loved about this dayin Virginia was not only the new foods I was introduced to like green beanscasserole, smash potatoes, sweet potato casserole (my abosulte favorite), pumpkinpie and stuffing, but I also loved the fact that this day was not all about thefood ( I’ll explain soon).  I noticedthat families reunite and do sleep over’s and they all cook together the meals,we don’t do that at all.  I noticed thatat the time to seat at the table, families talk, focus on being thankful, someof them say things they are thankful for, and focus on enjoying the qualitytime together.  This is something we absolutelydo not do at Puerto Rico or at least not in my family (Love you guys).

            Here in Puerto Rico is only abouteating, sadly.  Here, each person is assigneda meal to bring and we all meet each other at noon to eat.  The problem?  People are so excited about eating that they don’teat and come to  the dinner starving,thinking about food, they are in a hurry fighting of who is not here yet so wecan get to eat.  Then the moment isfinally here, I mean, everybody is in the house, so we start serving the platesand seat down.  However we have to waitfor everybody to get in the table, but we are so hungry that we start pickingfood from the plate while we wait.  Finallywe all in the table, but we are starving so one person need to hurry the hellup and pray real quick so we can finally eat. 

My oldest  seasoning the plant based turkay by Tofurky

            I mean, we do a pray but only oneperson talks (if you can call praying a talk) basically for every person in thetable. This is a special day to give thanks, not to just eat like people whohave not ate in months, so imagine how grateful I felt to celebrate a Thanksgivingwhere everything was about family, thankfulness and then a delicious seasonalmeal with our love ones.  However, when Imoved back to Puerto Rico, I kept celebrating Thanksgiving the way I alwaysdid. I knew something wasn’t right, don’t get me wrong, I loved the idea beingwith my family but something inside me felt was missing. 

            Three Thanksgiving ago I experiencea new change on this day, I was vegan for a few months now and I wanted toexperience this day with no animals products at all.  You see I had new values in my life and forme life has become something very valuable and this goes with all life, andthis day I always give thanks for life which for me is ridiculous to givethanks for life by paying a company to murder a living thing so I can have thaton my table and eat it.  The problem again?I am the only vegan person in my family so even that I did not ate turkey orgravy, I still have to celebrate this day with death around me, I know itsounds dramatic if you’re not vegan, but this is how I feel.  Now I’m celebrating this special day withfoods not longer excites me, eating only rice and a piece of bread, with notraditions at all and without saying what I’m grateful for. 

           I did not knew what to do becausethis is my family and I absolutely love them, and I know I am not staying inthis island for long so I want to have as many memories I can with them.  This year I decided to take my business tothe next lever, but to do it I had to read a lot, learn what successful peopledo and during this couple of month’s I learned that I need to live according tomy values no matter what.  I realizedthat part of me living in peace with my values was celebrating Thanksgiving theway that will fulfill my soul and make me feel happy, so I knew it was time tomake a change. 

           I will admit I under estimated whomy family now really is.  I am not ayoung single or married woman with no kids, I am a mom, which means, I have myown little family now, a beautiful family that I had created and this is mychance to make a change and teach my children what I think Thanksgiving reallyshould be about, being thankful and not about just the food.  I decided that I was going to create a dinnerwith my kids at home, a dinner that was vegan, with the traditional seasonflavors (you know, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, etc) created by us together withlove (some people love to just buy it done or pay someone to cook it) and seatdown relaxed, enjoy the moment and talk about things we are grateful for.  I could not have felt any more joy! It felt absolutelyright. 

            Being honest with myself is mynumber one priority, I recognized that I cannot do something that feels wrongfor me just for the love of a old tradition or to make other family membershappy.  Don’t get me wrong, spending timewith me other family is still important for me, I mean my parents are my worldand my siblings to, so I did still made time for them, after I was finished athome with my kids I was then going to my sister house and have some qualitytime with them. 

            You can live truly to yourself andmake everything work.  I put a limit on myselfby believing I could not create my own traditions and still celebrate with myother family.  But I was wrong, I made ithappen, I even worked that day, I had a dinner at home with my children andthen I went to create more memories with my family.  Now I feel exited about Thanksgiving againand I can’t wait to next year’s one.  I definitelywant to add new things to do this day, as my first Thanksgiving  by myself I was simple but what matter to methe most is that it was a moment I had only with my kids, meals that I feel areright and I live true to my values. 

              Do you have any Thanksgivingtradition that you want to share with me? Tell me in the comment section below,maybe I can add them on my next Thanksgiving.

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