Miami, Florida. Thanksgiving in our home in Miami is a reunion of family, friends and loved ones that we always look forward to. It is a special feast where everyone gathers as one in expressing our gratitude for all the blessings that we have received. The arrival of our guests, relatives and loved ones was warmly welcomed with happiness, a big hug or a firm handshake.

Our grandparents were delighted to see us and they were happy to see their youngest grandchild. Some guests and relatives brought some foods and drinks to share. Others brought pictures and souvenir items from their recent trips.Our guests brought their musical instruments and sung spiritual songs.

Thanksgiving is a special event where we all gather as one in echoing the spirit of unity, happiness, and gratefulness that is filled in our hearts. The temperature at that time in Miami was a little breezy and it was not too hot. Fun-filled activities saturated the atmosphere of our home an hour before the 7 pm thanksgiving dinner. We all gathered in the living room that was brightly lighted by a chandelier that was given by my grandparents during the occasion of my parent’s 10th wedding anniversary.The six bulbs antique iron chandelier has iron scrolls and sparkling glass droplets.

While soft instrumental music is being played, we listened to some happy and sad stories shared by people in the room. We gave spiritual support and consoled those who were saddened by the loss or separation of a family member, and the struggles that they are facing as a result of their health condition. We looked at some recent photos brought by relatives showing us the birth of their newly born child and their holiday trips with the family.We laughed at some hilarious jokes shared by some of our friends. To take the boredom of my younger cousins away, my aunts and uncles asked them to sing us a song, show us some of their dance steps or play a musical instrument. Some of us asked questions about their friends, school life, and ambition.

When they were too bored or uneasy to stay with us in the living room area, they ran around the garden and played mini-golf or catch ball with other children. My mother and aunts took turns in cooking the food and preparing the dinner table.While waiting for the meal, we took a bite of the spicy garlic bread appetizer and took a sip of either coffee, orange juice, or water as we enjoyed the company of everyone in the room. As the sweet scent of the roasted turkey filled the air and when my mother announced that dinner is almost ready, everyone was called to enter the living room.

The music player was turned off and the oldest member in the group stood up, thanked everyone for being around for the occasion and initiated the thanksgiving prayer.Then, we all stood up, bowed our heads, held each other’s hands and took turns in expressing gratitude for the blessings that we have received throughout the year. After the prayer, we gave a round of applause to our Creator, and gave everyone a hug. The dinner table was filled with typical thanksgiving food.

The colorful sight and the smell of the food were so enticing. The large roasted turkey was on the center of the table. We also had mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, cornbread, yams, pumpkin pie, wine, and apple cider. There were colorful pilgrim hat printouts of napkin rings to enhance the thanksgiving mood.Before we took our meal, we once again held each other’s hand as my father led the short prayer. After the prayer, the adults took a glass of white wine while the children took either a glass of sweet apple cider or water.

Then we all raised our glasses and made a toast to mark the beginning of another thanksgiving season. My mother carved the turkey and served a slice to everyone. The turkey meat was tender and bland and the gravy was salty for my tastebuds. The pie was delicious. While we were eating, we continued our conversation.

Before everyone left our home, we took souvenir photos of our special thanksgiving occasion.