Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to All of my Viewers! And Yikes! No Nativity Sets!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. I had a wonderful family day. My oldest son, his wife and sons joined my husband son and I for a Thanksgiving feast. We enjoyed all of the usuals, Salad, Veggies, Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Dressing, Broccoli, rolls and pumpkin pie with whipped cream for desert.

At the dining room table, we held hands and prayed a Thanksgiving prayer. Then, starting with our youngest grandson, we each said what we were most thankful for. Both before and after the feast, everyone watched football, football and more football. My grandsons already play in city league football so they were very in tune with the games. My daughterinlaw and I also studied the Black Friday ads to decide if we would dare go shopping and face those crazy crowds and traffic.

Throughout the day I kept thinking about how blessed I was, while knowing in the back of my mind, my brother is going through a medical crisis which will soon end his life. My brother, a veteran, is critically ill. His VA benefits have been quite helpful throughout his illness. His family has drawn so close through his illness. So much strength through such difficult times.

At the same time, I thought about how each of us respond to Holidays. My mother and father taught us many traditions, including Holiday celebrations and their relationships to God and to Family. My family has always upheld these traditions, keeping God and his Blessings included with them. That is why Thanksgiving has been so special to me. That is when Family truly spends time together appreciating one another.

My husband loves holidays too. He convinced me earlier in the week to go shopping with him so we could have our house decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving . We have most of the decorations, so we were looking to buy a few new lights and knick-knacks. We decorate both the Family Room and the Living Room. He takes one room and I the other. We always have a Nativity Scene on the mantle. I was looking to buy a new one. I thought for sure I could purchase a new Nativity Scene at Walmart. Nope. They didn't have one. I went to the manager and he said they were not selling enough of them to stock them. I went to Michaels - surely Michaels would have them. Nope. Michaels did not have them either. Finally, the only store I could find with a Nativity Scene was Garden Ridge and they only had ONE BOX SET. They did have a few group statues; the type that was melded together as in one big statue. I didn't want that. I wanted my separate statues, baby Jesus in a manger, separate sheep, etc. When we finally got home, I decided not to be mad at Michael's or Walmarts. After all, if people weren't buying them, then why should they stock them.

Thinking all of these thoughts, I came to the decision that on this Thanksgiving Day, I am most thankful to my parents for instilling traditions into our family, for being Christian, for believing in the Nativity - especially at Christmas time, for supporting and believing in the military, for believing and promoting education. Yes, my generation and my brothers generation are getting older, but thanks to my parents, we have lived long, fulfilling lives. We've had the opportunity to see what a great job they did for us and what we did in instilling these same values into our children so they can continue these traditions. I am also thankful and proud of my brother for having the strength and courage to take on so many challenges so bravely. Finally, I am so proud of my husband, my 1st son (and his wife), my younger son and especially my grandsons for being so loving, smart, athletic, Christian, America Loving, handsome and good to their grandparents.

All of these thoughts were rummaging in my head today as I opened up by laptop and decided to write my blog for today. I decided to just write these thoughts down for my blog and ask, what on earth are the ANTIs so afraid of with Latinos assimilating? Millions of Latinos are just like me. Christian. Family Focused. Military focused. AND...they have the Nativity Scene on their mantles every Christmas.


Proud American said...

Why shouldn't you assimilate? You were born in this country, went to school here(with no ESL and no bilingual education, no press "1" for English)just like me. We are Americans. You married a caucasian American and embraced the culture just like me. Your favorite tv show was "That Girl". I noticed that your holiday meal did not include tamales or rice and beans,
just good old American fare.
You can see that the culture of this country being changed by the millions of illegals coming here via Mexico. Their children, born here or not are taught via ESL or in bilingual classrooms. No one has to learn English, because there is always an option to communicate in Spanish. No incentive to learn English. No reason to like American TV shows with cable and sattelite and radio stations (so many) offered in Spanish.We learned English because it was a must, that is no longer the case. You sound successful and so am I. I will never forget my hispanic roots but I am an AMERICAN and am thankful for all my country has offered me. God Bless America!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday.

Vicente Duque said...

Have a Nice Thanksgiving ! ( of several days until sunday ! )

My devout pious MOM and me, the devil - I still kneel and pray to God, the Virgin, the Saints, the Angels and the Blessed Animas of Purgatory

My Mom is extremely old and sick : blind, unable to walk, very sick of diabetes, "defeated" cancer, heart disease, rheumatism, etc ...

She is uninterested in Foreign Policies, WorldViews or Weltanschaungs. She doesn't pay any attention to the Future.

But I read newspapers or magazines to her : things about children, mothers, women, moving stories of the heart. She is interested in Mr Obama, wife Michelle and the two girls and she admires and likes this couple in the White House.

Under the conservative crust my mom has a "Liberal" heart that would scare Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh. She is unable to hate.

The favorite readings for my mom are sermons of famous priests and nuns like "Mother Angelica" ( she can't see her favorite nun now because of blindness )... I read many sermons, catholic homilies and speeches from the Pope.

My mother is a better detective than Sherlock Holmes and we always fail hiding "Bad News" from her.

I am very tired on Sunday Evenings because of the long trip to visit my MOM, but I am also extremely happy to have the best Mother in the World.

I would rather fail in business and money matters than fail my mother by being reckless and not visit her. My wife prepares apple pie, mango pie, grapes and plum pies, pastry of chicken with peas, carrots, and other herbs, etc.. because these delicatessen are very healthy and according to diet, and they are delicious.

She lives in her own home and has nurses, a daughter and a granddaughter that live with her.

These people consider me very absurd because I talk a lot of Catholicism with my mother and kneel to pray a lot with her. I also sing Catholic songs, to the Virgin Mary and hymns and things of Churches. And when she almost died a year ago, we used to listen to mass in the Hospital : a Catholic Mass in Television of a rich Franciscan church, perhaps in New York or New England, these people have money and the parishioners are old and very pious.

But those who laugh don't understand the fear of death of very old and sick people and the need of comfort of Religion.

I am too much of a Volterian Atheist of the Illustration. I guess I am much worse than George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, with the difference of not being a mason.

Life needs some theater. I wouldn't have anything to talk to my mother if I did not adopt her point of view of life. For her Religion has always being concern number 1....

And don't forget that I have the best and most loving mother in the Whole and Entire World. !

Have a Nice Thanksgiving !

Vicente Duque

ultima said...

Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday. I am a strong believer in family traditions. I believe they enrich our lives and provide continuity.

I don't believe Americans are afraid of Hispanics personally but we have concerns about the changes they will eventually being about, changes which may cause our country to be more like the ones the Hispanics left behind. That kind of an outcome seems inevitable given their inability to improve their own governments and economic opportunities at home.

I hope this will not be the outcome but it is a legitimate concern and should not be a basis for criticism of the Pro-America citizens.

Dee said...

Your mother sounds wonderful.

Over the previous two weeks, my older sister visited me. She is a widow. She is a wonderful lady, like your mother.

One night we were reminiscing about Catholic school and songs we sung in school. This is one song we remembered.

It was so beautiful just to remember it. Songs and memories bring you so much peace of heart.

Dee said...

Proud American,

The every day habits of many/most Latinos are enrooted in the Catholic Church. Saying the rosary, reading the Bible, going to church at least every Sunday, prayers before meal, having the Nativity Scene at Christmas, are just normal, every day realities in a Latino home. My mother ALWAYS had an altar and a crucifix in our home. ALWAYS. And do you know what, I do too. So do all of my sisters.

Latinos believe in Family, Tradition, and Religion is very close to our hearts and are a part of who we are.

I still remember the songs we sang at Christmas time when we said the rosary. They were in Spanish and they hold a very special place in my heart:

"Ya rompió el alba del día, nació el niño manuelito, cantemos con alegría, a la lu, Niño chiquito. A la lu, Niño chiquito. Cantemos con alegria, Cantemos con grande fe, alaven los dulces nombres de Jesus, Maria y Jose. De Jesus, Maria y Jose."

Dee said...

Proud American,
Not many American Latino families eat tamales for Christmas. I love tamales but they take forever to cook.

As long as I can remember, my mother baked a turkey or a ham for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I do the same. So do my sisters. We always have mashed potatoes/gravy and dressing and a veggie and rolls with the meat. My sisters generally have at least 3 or 4 deserts. I usually have two but this year only had pumpkin pie.

My mother rarely had tamales or barbacoa for holidays, but when she did, they were mor like a sidedish. However, when we did have them, they were delicious. Tamales take a long time to make. It also takes the neighborhood to make them. When we did have them, all the women in the neighborhood gathered together to dough the cornhusks and to fill them with meat and wrap them. My mother baked them in this huge baking pan, bigger than a turkey pan. Each family participating took their share. It was so time consuming. But the end result was well worth the work.

Vicente Duque said...

Dear Dee :

Thanks for your kind words of Thanksgiving. ... I continue with my family these days and I go to visit a very sick uncle with my mother and sister.

YouTube said that your code for the video was wrong. I have been listening to Pavarotti, Carreras, Domingo and others.

I am very happy when neighbors speak in their own language and cook their own meals from their ancestors. I try to learn from them as much as possible.

I am very happy when people play to me the songs and music of the land of their ancestors.

I would despise myself if it were otherwise. I would despise myself if I were a fool forcing customs, foods or anything on others. I was taught tolerance at home.

And also I always want to learn new things and meet new people, and not be a bigot and idiot believing that I am the top echelon of evolution.

Vicente Duque

MMPete said...

I beg to differ. Every Latino family that I have known or worked with still serves tamales and some of their other ethnic food on holidays. Not that there is anything wrong with that just a reality check here. They serve it along with traditional American fare.

Dee said...

I love tamales and barbacoa. Delicious. Now that I live in TX you can buy them everywhere. No need to have the neighborhood come over to dough the cornhusks. Occassionally we have them on Thanksgiving. Not always. Mostly a choice of turkey or ham as the main dish.

We are a melting pot, salad bowl of ethnicities in our country. My sister's daughter who is a vegetarian even cooked a tofu turkey for their Thanksgiving at their house. I say no thanks to THAT tradition.

ultima said...

El Duque wrote, "And also I always want to learn new things and meet new people, and not be a bigot and idiot believing that I am the top echelon of evolution."

But you see you are being a bigot by accusing others of believing they are "...the top echelon of evolution." I find few people who believe that but that doesn't prevent them from being less myopic than others regarding the future of this country and the adverse impact of continued population growth. As soon as anyone brings that up, they get accused of "hate" or racism when in fact it is a legitimate concern which you could share if you thought about it more.

ultima said...

The Proud American hit the nail on the head. There is no reason anyone should abandon their culture entirely. I am half German and half Danish but I was born in this country. We have a Christmas tree -- I think that is German in origin. I have a Danish sweet roll occasionally less frequently than I have a Taco. I like Pfefferneuse or Pepper Nuts, as my mother used to call them. I have read "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" three times as well as "The Holocaust". I went to Kindergarten as a child. There was a German Methodist Church in town and an old canvas covered bible up in the attic printed in the old Fraktur type. There was never any question about which side we were on when the Germans were the aggressors. We never thought of ourselves as anything other than Americans even as we enjoyed the polka bands like the Six Fat Dutchmen, Whoopee John, Lawrence Duchow, Romy Gosz, Lawrence Welk, and the Red Ravens, and Heine and the Grenadiers. We ate more pizza than sauerbraten.

MMPete said...

I agree with you Ultima. Just because we may enjoy ethnic foods and culture doesn't make us less American but what does is when one takes sides with their ethnic group against the laws and principles that this country was founded on.

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