Turkey, pumpkin pie, family, football, all parts of Thanksgiving. Yeah, sure we all know the history of it...Pilgrims, Indians, religious freedom, surviving when so many didn't, thankfulness to God, yaddy yaddy yadda.
This Thanksgiving I am rejecting the yaddy yaddy yadda! I am whole-heartedly embracing our amazing holiday, Thankgiving.
It all started when Matt asked if he could invite his new roommate, Albert, over for Thanksgiving. Albert is from China. He has only been in America for weeks. His twin sister, Sally, came too.
What a delight!
Of course, being the inquisitive type, I immediately asked if they had any holidays comparable to our Thanksgiving.
"No," they replied in impeccable English.
No Thanksgiving? No time when your country reflects on it's blessings? Sure, how many people in America, like the Pilgrims, actually do praise and thank their God on this holiday? Yet, it is our national heritage!
We learned so much about the amazing city of Beijing, China. We learned about the educational system. We heard how Sally and Albert would get up at 5:00am in order to go to school. They would not be finished until 10:00pm. Then they would study until midnight. And begin again the next morning.
We Americans are wondering why the Chinese are excelling in their educational system?
We shared turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie and they shared their Jasmine tea and stories. We shared our Christmas puzzle, o.k. more like coersed Sally to help us. She eagerly skipped in to help us, then flipped a piece over.
A frown crossed her face. "Where are the numbers?" she asked in her sweet, quiet way. She went on to explain that only children do puzzles and they are numbered on the back.
Albert and Sally shared stories of their holidays, Chinese New Year, Spring Festival and Autumn Festival. I couldn't help but marvel at "No Christmas?"
What would life be like with no Christmas?
On Saturday, the girls drug the Christmas trunks upstairs. Meredith put on the Christmas music and we hung wreaths, stockings and Christmas pictures. Then came our favorite box. As Madison pulled out our nativity scene, I listened as she explained the people and animals they were unwrapping.
I smiled. What an amazing perspective having Sally and Albert in our home had given us all. But more than a perspective, how thankful we could all be at the beautiful people we were getting to know. Beautiful people from a beautiful country so far away.
Tonight I am thankful! I have a renewed appreciation for living in the land of the free, the home of the brave, AMERICA! I am thankful for the amazing heritage which is ours. As a believer, I am rejoicing in that! I am also rejoicing in my two new friends, Sally and Albert! Happy Thanksgiving!