“God, Boats, and Dirt Bikes”

(Left to right) Jack, Kathryn myself, Nathan, Hailey, and Ben all huddled after we went ice skating downtown to get into the holiday spirit.

Thanksgiving is celebrated to commemorate the first pilgrim harvest in US. Today, we celebrate the holiday to gather with friends, family, and loved ones to give thanks and show gratitude towards them. However, the traditional Thanksgiving has turned into more of a social event rather than sharing your gratitude–at least for my family it has.

My family celebrates Thanksgiving before Thanksgiving. As a large extended family with many things going on,  we schedule the holiday the year before so that everyone can put it on their calendar. My cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, sister, and myself look forward to it every year because it is one of the only times we’re (almost) all together at once.

Before dinner, we say grace while holding hands around the dinner table. Afterward, we go around in a circle mentioning what were thankful for. Most people don’t know what to say so they say, “I’m thankful for my friends and family.” Although it is true, it lacks the authenticity that gratitude should have. Sure, you don’t have to be sappy, but why not put in a little more effort?

What about your friends are you thankful for? I’m thankful that they always have my back. I’m thankful that they listen to whatever I have to say while offering advice and always looking out for my best interest. They make me laugh and cheer me up. They are the key to my personality–they are the plow to my harvest.

What about your family are you thankful for? I’m thankful that they love me. They constantly do little things for me that sometimes go unnoticed. They take our family on trips to places I’ve never imagined being able to go to. They help me see the world in different lenses. I’m thankful that they are there looking out for me even when I don’t ask for it. They know just what to do to help me become a better person–they are the seeds to my harvest.

…But back to my point: giving thanks has become generalized.

This year, as we held hands explaining what we’re grateful for, most people said “I’m Thankful for my friends and family”–but not Ben.

Ben, my 13 year old cousin who’s not afraid to be himself, said “I’m thankful for God, boats, and dirt bikes.”

Everyone laughed–including me–but in reality, that’s actually what he’s thankful for. Sure he could have included friends and family, but everyone knows he is. Everyone is thankful for their friends and family.

Thank you, Ben, for giving your authentic gratitude towards what you love.

Last year – a photo of some of my crazy cousins and I at the Thanksgiving event.

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