Favorite Family Tradition

Dec 9, 2019

I mean, Thanksgiving, the family all comes together. I like to see things that are done with a purpose. So you know, you would get together, say what we’re thankful for, everyone would pray. Everyone would bring a dish because if I cook for my family, they wouldn’t even all fit in this room. Even if you were to do it on this entire first floor, they’re still not in one space. But we have it really big because it started small and then they come in.

But at the end, they would do a grab bag and the adults did it with the adults and the children did it with the children. And the children basically made their gifts, because we don’t work or anything so at that time we just made things and it was something that you would do.

But the way I liked that they did it, was leading all the way up until the day when you get the big gift, you would get small gifts that symbolize what you were going to get. So that was like fun thing to do. And it was enjoyable. One of the things they did, on Thanksgiving before the family left, we would go and try to, it would be like one, two, three, four rooms and we’d all take one big family picture. So we’d have a photographer. So every year the picture gets bigger. They did it this year. But you know, if you look at it, a lot of people passed on so it wasn’t as big, but they still do the picture. And then at Christmas they do the same thing again.

You get your gift and then you get your food and all that stuff. And they all come together. And I went to take the picture, take the picture. But I’ve always impressed upon them, you know, if we’re going to get a gift, I’m not looking at the value of the gift, I’m looking at what’s the purpose? Why would you give me this? Because I know some family members who get gifts, often would say, “well you know I got a gift but they didn’t know I have like 17 of these, I’m going to re-gift it.” And I’ve always thought that was rude. They went out of their way to get you something. And it was a grab bag gift. And I know when you say grab bag, it’s not something you may want and then for you to just turn around and take what they gave you and give it to someone else.

But I always told them to put a purpose in it because I say, you know when I go to China, anything you get has a purpose. It’s not something, “Oh well I’m going to give you this.” No, it’s a purpose behind it. And you can always use whatever they give you. So it’s always a valuable thing even if it was something that was free. It’s something that you can always use to better your life or improve yourself. Because everything is to make you better. But those traditions, here in America, are celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas seem to, even on birthdays, they seem to just look to give you stuff.

Like they said, “Oh well, your mom and dad provide your needs. I’ll get you what you want.” And I said, “Well, you’re really not giving me what I want” and they said “well, what do you want?” And I said, “if I said it, you’re not going to get it, so why bother telling them?” So they would offer and say, “well just please, humor me.” I said, “I want real estate.”

And then they said,” I don’t know if I..”. I said, “Then don’t ask”. You know what I’m asking. And I said that just to let them know people’s wants can be selfish or more embellished upon living and stuff to make you look better. But in actuality, people do want things that’s going to make their life’s more purposeful. But they would prefer to be surprised to see that they really thought about this gift for me.

Just seeing and remembering some of the stuff that I got as a child from my cousins and stuff like that was really amazing, you know? Wow. So you really do know me cause it made me feel like my family member knows who I am. They don’t just know me by my name. They know what I really like. So that made a difference and it made the bond stronger in the family. You put a lot of thought into it.

You think about what you’re going to give them. It’s not something like, “Oh well I saw her looking at this dress.” Maybe she wasn’t looking at the dress. Maybe she liked a pattern in the dress. If she gets the dress, she’ll be like, “Oh this is…” Or maybe the material is what they like, but that’s something that they would probably do on their own or make it on their own. We put a lot more thought into it.

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