Since childhood, Thanksgiving has always been a special time for me. Though I grew up in Panama where the holiday is not traditionally celebrated, my mother always made a big deal out of the family dinner.
There is no getting around the fact that we were very poor. I suppose this is, at least in part, the reason the holiday remains so dear to me. I remember, like yesterday, the way my mother looked rushing around the kitchen, doing her best to make as lavish a meal as she could for us. I can easily recall the wonderful smells from her kitchen and the sense that the moment was to be savored as much as the meal. These are very private, sacred and beautiful memories for me.
When the meal was served, we would rush to the table, all hoping to get our hands on one of the coveted drumsticks. There were five children, so a few were sure to be disappointed. The joy I felt when she presented one to me is too precious to put into words. This was a grand gesture, however simple it seems to the outside world.
Today, the holiday still has a very special meaning for me. Being in the event business means that I am often very busy during the Christmas and New Year holiday season, so I have a tradition of throwing a big Thanksgiving celebration for my loved ones. It’s an opportunity to see all of my family from Panama and I especially enjoy playing with my great nieces and nephews. There are usually about sixty of us in total.
There is a part of me that loves to provide them all with a feeling of abundance, something we did not know many years ago. I always make sure there is plenty of wonderful food on-hand, that it is served in lavish settings and that there is beautiful music playing. I also present them all with their first Christmas present. One year, everyone got an iPod. In 2010, we were in a terrible economy so everyone received an envelope with a $100 bill. I thoroughly enjoy seeing the faces of the people I love the most light up and feel appreciated and cared for.
I always walk away a little more thankful for my family, my friends and the opportunity to help take care of them by doing something I love.
Event Soltuions magazine
by Preston Bailey
Preston Bailey is recognized as one of the world's premier event designers and tastemakers. Learn more at www.prestonbailey.com and be sure to check out his blogs: prestonbailey.com
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