Monday, November 21, 2011

A Thankful start to a new holiday season!

Can you believe Thanksgiving is just days away! I don't know about you but as the time draws near I can start to smell the turkey with the anticipation of a busy kitchen filled with stories and lots of laughter. Although I have always enjoyed this holiday, I have a heightened appreciation lately. It is one of the few holidays were most people no matter what your religion or ethnicity can come together and celebrate collectively.

Today there is so much fear to always be so politically correct as not to offend. Yes, it is good to a point but as a country why are we so afraid to broaden and celebrate our cultural differences.  Is this not what our nation is suppose to stand for? I am a christian and as child growing up in Brooklyn I loved playing the dreidel game and singing the song with my Jewish friends and learning more about their family and Hanukkah.  It didn't make me any less christian but it certainly helped me to appreciate and understand their culture. I loved hearing about their preparations for Seder dinner and how they would have to carefully prepare their food. As I observed their family traditions I realized how close they were. Their rituals created a special bond, their own spiritual crest. It made them special in there own way.  My childhood experiences such as these have made me excited in wanting to know more about what makes us different. I wanted this for my own children. When I hear stories of non-christian families putting up a Christmas tree or people of non-African descent celebrating Kwanzaa it makes me smile. I think what an open and confident family. Knowing who you are and not feeling threatened by someone's religious preference is living with an open heart. Our appreciation of other traditions and religions does not define who we are or our beliefs, it only helps to enrich us and bridge the cultural divide.

In many of our schools children can not be exposed to or acknowledge certain holidays for fear of offense. How does this teach tolerance? Since when is learning about someone elses heritage offensive. Instead of voiding our cultural differences we should be adding and layering more cultural fabric into our schools to ultimately lessen the fear. Where there is distance there is greater fear. Teaching our children tolerance is what gives them a cultural spirit. It's the key to a world that is compassionate and excepting of others.

This Thanksgiving I am extra grateful for a day were we can all say thank you for the bounty not only before us but for the bounty of friends, family and God's many blessings. Every year we try to share our table with someone who would ordinarily be spending it alone. Try to think of ways to honor this day and give thanks for life as we know it.

Here's a fast and easy way to let everyone know where their special place at the table is.

If your anything like me I could always use a reminder on setting the table.
Here's a chart for future reference.

Color Inspiration
This month a few of my design friends and I were featured in Linda Merrill's publication "Surroundings" take a look and there you will find color inspirations for this holiday season!
Take a look at the link below and see what my color inspiration is this holiday!



 I am sending best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!


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