Friday, November 21, 2014

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it's probably my second favorite holiday of the year. It's a time for my family to come together to converse, laugh, and reminisce about the past. It's also the time to eat lots of good food, perhaps play a game or two and in general, share in the closeness of one another. Another reason I like Thanksgiving is that it's not based on a religious event and all of my family can attend. I have 3 grown daughters, of which 2 are married and the youngest is engaged; 4 living grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. This year, everyone will be at our house. It will be full, and the last time this occurred was about 3 years ago. I just love it when we all can be together. 

The preparations in our house for "Turkey Day" begin about a week ahead with purchasing the most important item on the menu, which is of course, the biggest turkey my husband can find. The rest groceries are purchased a only few days ahead after the menu is completely planned.

Traditions, in my family, are always an important aspect for maintaining the holidays. Thanksgiving in our household would not be Thanksgiving without some pumpkin and apple pies, which I usually make from scratch. Also my husband, Gerry, takes care of preparing the dressing for the turkey the night before and stuffing it early on Thanksgiving morning.  Our traditional meal includes yams, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, assorted homemade breads and desserts. 

Thanksgiving to me is a time for family, and I'm always grateful for my family members and the closeness we share. My family, including the extended members and my so-called adopted children, are the most important people in my life. I wouldn't be who I am without them. Even though I may not be able to celebrate with everyone because of the distance between us, I do celebrate with them in my heart.  I'm also sure that there are many people in the Etsy community who share the same or similar sentiments. 

Although Etsy is an international community and not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving, I do believe everyone has something to be thankful for. Therefore I decided to ask my Etsy team members of Relevancy and SEO for All Etsy Shops what they were thankful for and perhaps share in some of their Thanksgiving traditions. This is what they said:

1. Kirsten,  "recently nearly lost my brother ands his little daughter in a boating accident. It was a complete miracle their lives were saved. I am grateful for their safety and for all of my family.One of my family's quirkiest Thanksgiving traditions is a green jello salad made with lime jello, crushed pineapple, cheddar cheese, and cool whip. It is one of the oddities of western Mormon heritage. But, we wouldn't go without it."

2. Shilly Shally Jewelry,  "I am so thankful for the 3 adult children I have who have made really good decisions in their lives. There are so many families who are hurting deeply because of substance abuse and health problems. I am so grateful for the amazing grandchildren they have made just for Me!

Many of our traditions have changed as the years have passed but it is still about family and friends getting together and sharing favorite dishes; turkey for sure, green beans, jello, and lots of desserts!"


3. Michelle,  "I'm incredibly thankful that my mother doesn't have cancer! She's my wire artisan, and this last year they found a spot in her lung. For nearly a year we were living on the edge of stress, going to doctors appointments and having PET scans and radioactive dye injections. Then my cousin passed away suddenly (we all miss her very much, she left behind 3 teenage children), which piled more stress onto the situation. We recently got the 'official' word that its not cancer! WHOOOO!!! You don't truly appreciate the people in your daily life until you are faced with the possibility of loosing them. Now I cherish every moment with her, even when we disagree about designs! I just smile and hug her and tell her it doesn't matter.

Every T
hanksgiving we all get together and cook family recipes, center star being my Grandmother's sweet potato casserole. We all have a signature dish (my mom makes this AWESOME cream corn bake) and then we sit down to eat and share memories about family and past holidays. I'm so blessed that I'll get to do that another year with my mom. "This year I'm sure we will be talking about Jenni (my cousin) a lot."

4. Ana, "Even though, I am new on Etsy. I am grateful that I took the risk of opening my shop to show how talented are artisans from the country that I was born in, and to show the wonderful pieces that can be created with Tagua. It has been difficult for me to find a job, and I have epilepsy, which I do not let get in my way. However, it has affected our family finances. Therefore, I am thankful this year for my husband. His patience and his unconditional love has made me grow as a person. I am thankful that we have each other no matter what gets in the way. I know I can count on him, and if live give us lemons together, as a team, we can make lemonade. I am thankful for Etsy, because it has given me hope, and it has been wonderful to share, participate on teams, and get to know the creative people and artists that are part of the Etsy family."

5. Alegra, "I am thankful for my family and friends and for the talent that God has given me! I am thankful that I will have another year to spend with family."

6. Lisa,  "I am thankful for many things in my life, especially my loving family. Normally I fly home to Pennsylvania every year for Thanksgiving but this year I will be working in the ICU. I am thankful I get to spend this holiday with my patients and hope to bring them comfort, as they are away from their own family and traditions. Thanksgiving is a holiday of warmth and love in my family. It is my favorite holiday. It gives you a moment to step back, take a breath, look  around, and see all of the things                     you are thankful for in this crazy, whirlwind of a life that we sometimes take for granted."

7. Gülken,  "I want to celebrated your Thanksgiving. I hope every time you will feel to have good think in your life."

8. Val, "I am thankful that I still have my parents (85 & 84) and my in-laws (83 & 82). They are healthy and up beat. This Thanksgiving I will be hosting and cooking. We enjoy a traditional menu, but our favorite is my husbands biscuits. Yummo!! With gravy.   They are the best. "The diet is off"!"

9. Sherry,  "My four adult children and their families live all over the USA. I just returned from my third son's wedding. It was the first time all of us were together in two years. We never take our time together for granted! Just SO grateful!I am also thankful for the current generation of young people who often, like you, Mary T, looks for ways to pay it forward. In an age when the media often focuses on the negative things in our society, it makes me smile to see so many young people wanting to help make our world a better place!"

10. SuzAnne,  "My mom was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in May of 2014. I was helping care for her with my dad when he died unexpectedly of a heart attack October 13. Since this time I have been helping my oldest sister care for my mom to be able to keep her at home as was my father's wish. I am thankful for the time I have gotten to spend getting to know my sister who is 13 years older than me. I am also thankful for the time I have gotten to spend with mymom as it has brought us much closer."


11. Michele,  "I am thankful for the health and safety of my family and all of the opportunities and blessings that we have been given this year. When I listen to the news from around the world I realize how fortunate we truly are and also how we take so much of our daily lives and situations for granted. 

One tradition we have in our family is going around the dinner table during the Thanksgiving meal and having each person tell what they are thankful for during the past year. Also my mom's homemade cranberry orange sauce, my cousin's sweet potato casserole and my sweet and sour green beans. Oh, I can't forget the little apple, toothpick and gumdrop turkeys the kids make to decorate the Thanksgiving table. We have been doing that for generations!"One tradition we have in our family is going around the dinner table during the Thanksgiving meal and having each person tell what they are thankful for during the past year. Also my mom's homemade cranberry orange sauce, my cousin's sweet potato casserole and my sweet and sour green beans. Oh, I can't forget the little apple, toothpick and gumdrop turkeys the kids make to decorate the Thanksgiving table. We have been doing that for generations!"

12. Mira,  "I'm thankful for the simple abundance that is integral in my life. There is always enough for my family and I.

Our tradition - Every year at the dinner table, we start at the head of the table, and one by one, we each talk about what we're thankful for that year. There's always some surprising, as well as sentimental, answers."

13. Sue, "I am thankful for the great country we live in and for our many freedoms. I am thankful for my husband, children and the rest of my family and that we have shelter and food and clothing. we are indeed blessed."

14. Nancy,  "I have a brand new grandson this year, I am so very happy to have him in our families lives. We all adore him. I am thankful to be able to live so close to my children and share in everything in their lives. I am also thankful that my 5 sisters and 1 brother and all of their children - we all live within 30 minutes of each other. As the family gets larger, it is so nice watch everyone grow in their lives. 

We do have a Thanksgiving tradition. Not all of us have Thanksgiving dinner together, however everyone comes over to our house for dessert. As silly as this sounds, everyone brings the Chicago Tribune with them, with all of the ads for the Black Friday sales. People end up on the floor, on the couch, at all of the tables, scouring over the ads and deciding the order of importance in which to try to get to that sale. Most often the young dads take the small children home to bed, while the ladies all split up into groups and into different cars, depending on who wants to go where. This has been happening for about 8 years now, I don't really care what is on sale, I just love that we all go together.

15. April,  "It's been a really rough few years but I'm really thankful that I have a roof over my head even if it's not the most ideal place and that I have a wonderful loving husband to stand by me during the ups and downs.

16. June,  "
I am thankful that my daughter and I got through a really rough patch and that the Lord Jesus is real and watches over us, protecting us."

17. JL,  "I'm thankful for the continued health of my family and the time I've been able to spend with my nephews this year. I'm grateful that everything my tiny little old house is still functioning, my car is still running, and I can afford to put food on my table. And stressful as it may be working full time and working on a Master's degree, I'm thankful for the opportunity to do so.

18. Pets Parade,  "I am so grateful for the family I have and treasure each and every day with them. When people use the expression " I wish I was rich and had lots of money", I always feel in my heart I am rich because I am surrounded by unconditional love from my family and dear friends.

Our tradition is that our immediate family comes together for a lovely warm hearted special dinner with all the trimmings, where nobody worries about their diets or figures. We eat drink and be merry. As I have family in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, USA & UK we all link through Skype and wish each other as if we were together in one room. So for this I feel really blessed and thank you for a wonderful Etsy site, I am still very new on here, but I feel a strong communitypresence within Etsy, which I am proud to be a part of. "

I want to thank everyone on my Etsy team who participated in my blog this week. As I said on the team forum, this is an awesome team and I'm thankful to Mary (, our team captain, who had the courage to make me a team leader only a few months after I opened by shop:
purseonalitybymary.etsy.comWith Christmas just around the corner, these shops have plenty to offer. Take a moment and browse through them. I'm sure there will be something for everyone on your Christmas list. Finally, I want to say Happy Thanksgiving to my family, friends, team members and the Etsy community as a whole. I'm glad you're a part of my life.