Gratitude & Thanksgiving 2016

While it may seem completely unconventional and a massive departure from tradition, spending Thanksgiving in Savannah’s Forsyth Park has become our little family’s tradition. Several years ago, my husband & I realized that planning, cooking, and serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal had become so exhausting that it was no longer fun and meaningful, so we took a chance, visited a local market, and walked to Forsyth Park for a picnic.

That first Thanksgiving was just the two of us lying on a blanket with a meat & cheese tray, a bottle of wine, and a bar of dark chocolate. However, it was the most relaxing and meaningful Thanksgiving that we’d celebrated in years. We spent a good portion of the morning lying on the blanket, talking, and appreciating our life together. The next year, we took a chance and took our kids to our Thanksgiving picnic in the park.  Our kids enjoyed it just as much as we did, and our nontraditional tradition was born.

Over the past few years, our Thanksgiving picnic has remained just as relaxing, but our appreciation of the life that brings us to the park has grown. So many people seem to limit their gratitude to their friends and family, and while their gratitude isn’t to be discounted, gratitude should include so much more.

Here’s an idea, look back at where you’ve been, how far you’ve come, and how you’ve changed, and then, evaluate your gratitude.  Eight years ago I was lost, divorced, homeless, and searching for a better life for myself and two little boys. Today, I’m married to my best friend, who’s a better father than I ever imagined, who’s traveled the world with me, and who’s as non-traditional as me. Today, I’ve been to FOUR World Food Championships and made finals three times, have my own website, write for a variety of companies, and can host culinary shows. Today, I’m a completely different person than I was eight years ago, and for that, I’m thankful…everyday.

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