I LOVE Thanksgiving!! The good food, the quality time with family, the reunion with family friends, the sharing of God’s blessings from the year… all of it! It was so nice to have my brother home from Monday night to Saturday morning and to have Thursday and Friday off from work. We had an eventful but also relaxing time together, as we kept up with our Thanksgiving traditions, which include lots of eating and lots of quality time :)
Hot pot dinner at home! This tradition started as recently as a year or two ago. We enjoy a nice, warm pre-Thanksgiving feast, especially as the weather gets colder, and we get plenty enough time to catch up while we cook kobe beef, fish and beef balls, shrimp, and green veggies. Yum!
Dim sum lunch at Joy Luck Palace! For as long as I can remember, or maybe since this restaurant opened in 1998, we have had this Thanksgiving lunch tradition. When my dad was around, our family shared our thanksgivings from the year over lunch. Now, my mom, brother, and I visit my dad at the cemetery and share our thanksgivings there, either before or after lunch.
Making curry beef triangles! For both potlucks on Thanksgiving and the day after, my brother and I help my mom wrap up these curry beef triangles after my mom cooks the filling inside. These delicious “ga-lay-gocs” take a lot of effort, but for many years, my mom has made them because we love them so much, and so does her church friends and our family friends. Plus the 1-2 hours that it takes to wrap these up gives the 3 of us another opportunity to talk about whatever!
Chinese Thanksgiving dinner at my mom’s church! My brother and I go with my mom to her church, which has been our tradition since we started attending CCCC when I was in 2nd grade. It wasn’t until Thanksgiving during my freshman year in college (when my parents were in Israel so I went with my brother to a friend’s family’s Thanksgiving dinner) that I tried stuffing, cranberries, and many of the traditional American Thanksgiving food for the first time.
Puzzle with my brother! This is not a tradition, I just really needed help picking back up this puzzle I hadn’t touched since at least a year ago when I only put together the border. The puzzle is a photomosaic, so it makes your eyes go blind after looking at it for too long. I even have to use a magnifying glass to double check if the little pictures match up. Completing this puzzle is going to take a lot of time and patience, but I celebrate every piece I get in!
Friendsgiving! For the 4th year now since I moved home from Irvine, I love inviting and hosting a Thanksgiving potluck dinner with my close family friends, usually 30-40 people at my house. This year, we missed the presence of a few families, but we are truly thankful for the good food and great company with the families who were able to join us. After dinner, we sit around my family room and have a time of intentional sharing about our thanksgivings of the year… and everyone shares, all 32 people this year, which took about 2 hours. My heart was so full, listening to all the aunties, uncles, and friends I grew up with share about how God has been working in their lives and how He is always good and sovereign, no matter what circumstances come our way.
About that Thanksgiving banner in the group photo above! I took “Thanksgiving” from the evite and copied it by eye on to construction paper, cut the letters out, realized the paper was too flimsy to hang up, traced the construction paper template to thick art paper, cut the letters out again, threaded the letters with gold string, and made it into a banner so I could hang it up and decorate the house for our Thanksgiving potluck dinner! Pretty proud of my banner haha since I don’t really do arts and craft other than what I have to do as a Kindergarten teacher.
My brother left in the morning, so the rest of these are not traditions…
The 3-week stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas goes by so fast because it’s fun at work and busy at home with getting presents ready. I teach my students about the winter holidays and do holiday crafts with them. Pretty soon, I will have 2 weeks off for Winter Break!
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the Thanksgiving season with family and friends and were encouraged as I was when you counted God’s blessings in your life this year. I would love to hear what Thanksgiving traditions you have, so please feel free to leave a comment and share yours!
Cheers to the 2014 holiday season :)