For most people Thanksgiving means celebrating with family, lots of cooking, and taking time to reflect on what we’re thankful for. In my family it meant that if we were hosting, there was guaranteed to be a few extras at our table. See, my dad always had a soft spot for those who didn’t have a place to go on Thanksgiving. I’d like to say that I felt the same, but sadly, I did not.
I was selfish; there’s not really any other way to put it. I liked being comfortable and comfort meant family. Talking with people I didn’t know very well did not fit into my comfort zone. Fortunately, my dad was more concerned with making others feel like part of a family rather than whether or not I was getting my own way. Every year, with out fail, we went around the table taking turns giving thanks. And every year I felt guilty for having such a crummy attitude regarding the extra guests at the table.
I just so happened to marry a man who is also compassionate, reaching out to welcome those in need of a place to celebrate the holiday. He is like this because he comes from two parents who led by example. Once I joined the family it was guaranteed that there would be extra guests sitting around their table as well. I was finally learning to appreciate and enjoy instead of resist and be a brat.
This year we spent Thanksgiving at my in-laws who so graciously welcomed as many people as we wished to invite. It was our family plus seven others. They set up extra tables and chairs and cooked massive amounts of food, never rolling eyes over adding another guest. It was perfect and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I have much to be thankful for.