Reasons To Be Thankful

Bare Essence Of Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving Week in America. A lot of people from across the country travel to be with their families to celebrate a bountiful year of blessings. This day could mean a lot of things to a lot of people but it originated when the Pilgrims settled in America against all odds and befriended the original settlers of the land, the native Indians. The story can be long filled with dramas of struggle and survival but to make it simple, it’s a day that the Pilgrims and the Indians shared a precious blessing of family and friendship over a delicious meal that the land has provided. It was about celebrating a harvest toiled with sweat and tears among people who meant a lot for each other.

Thanksgiving In The Eyes Of A Child

Last week, my wife and I joined our son for a “Thanksgiving” lunch at his school. Some students wore a Turkey hat made of colored paper including my son’s class while the other sections wore an Indian hat. Everyone wore with pride the hats they made. My son was smiling at me happily as I greeted him, “Happy Thanksgiving.”

I asked him what he knows about this event aside from making a paper hat and sharing a simple yet delicious meal. He just smiled. I guess he assumed I knew the story better than him and decided that a “smile” was all I needed to figure out what it was all about. Hmm?

My son made this tonight while I was making this post. His version of the Pilgrim and his Indian friend.

Thank You God

After school, I browsed his bag for any assignments for the long holiday off from school or any remarks from his teacher including  “Bad Day” notes. Inside his folder I saw a simple children “Thanksgiving” story with a profound message. It serves both as a coloring and story book. To me it serves as a reminder of the things I should be grateful about.

The story book goes like this.

Thank you God… for a strong ship.

Thank you God… for keeping us safe.

Thank you God… for the land we see.

Thank you God… for the help you sent.

Thank you God… for the food we eat.

Thank you God… for friends and family.

In a way despite of not knowing what is “Thanksgiving” for most of my life and only to discover what it was when I moved to America, this simple story showed me how beautiful and meaningful this holiday is. I don’t have to be born in America to realize how special this day is in the past , present and the future.

My Version Of Thanksgiving

Having to leave my homeland and migrated to a foreign soil, I somehow can relate to the “Thanksgiving” journey. A journey of hope and dreams,  of success and failure, of happiness and pain, of joy and tears, of finding yourself , of trying to fit in and be a part of something, of loneliness and new beginnings.

I had a lot of soul-searching walking along this sands...

102 Reasons To Be Thankful

Tonight, I was trying to finish as fast as I can answering comments and visiting the posts of my blogger friends who serve to inspire me each day to make new posts. By the time I was done, I have 102 comments including mine on the post titled Weekly Photo Challenge: Breakfast. I smiled with gratitude in my heart knowing these friends took their time, thoughts and hearts to share.

As I read each comment and reply, I can’t help but be thankful for each moving messages that brings forth motivation, enlightenment, meaning to one’s existence, of generous joy that I will always carry with me wherever I am.

Yes, there are 102 reasons , even more to be thankful this year but my top ones are as follows:

1. I’m thankful for the life God gave me. For keeping me and my family healthy and safe. For another borrowed year to enjoy what this beautiful world has to offer.

2. I’m thankful for my wife and son and for the love they give me each day. They make me face each day with a smile on my face and a glow in my heart.

3. I’m thankful for the blessing of having a job that I enjoy doing, that gives me a sense of worth, that gives me purpose, that helps others, that allowed me to meet the most amazing co-workers, that brings food to the table, that keeps me sane.

4. I’m thankful for the continuing strength, courage, the means to overcome, the support and prayers for each and every trial and hardships me and my wife had gone through. There’s more thorns ahead, some scary and piercing but knowing I have someone to share those battles with, I’m thankful for that as well.

5. I’m thankful for the fun and adventures me and my family were lucky to experience this  year. Despite of having less, we had the most memorable and happy memories that no amount of money can buy.

6. I’m thankful for the love of family and friends whose goodness still amazes me to this day. They give without counting the cost and not expecting anything in return. Each day they teach me what is being selfless and giving is, of what it is to have a genuine heart that cares.

7. I’m thankful for a blog that allows me to be myself. A blog where expressing oneself leads to kind words from friends and not judgement. A blog where mutual inspiration and motivation happens everyday. A blog where hopes and dreams are shared and celebrated.

The Pilgrim Story Continues

Everyday, countless of people move to places and leave the one home they knew all their lives. Everyday, countless of people relive in a way what the Pilgrims went through when they left their land armed only with their faith, their dreams, the courage to persevere and the love of their families that gave them strength and inspiration.

I am and always will be one of these people who took a risk in making a journey into the new world. A journey no matter how hard and challenging, ends up with gratitude. A gratitude that calls for a celebration year after year.

In a way, the story of the Pilgrims continue even to this very day. It is no longer about faith alone but more on the will to survive and pursuing a better life.

Happy Thanksgiving my friend. Just remember it’s not about how good the Turkey taste but more on how and whom you share it with.

Thank you for sharing your day with me. Wishing you and your family tons of blessings filled with love, peace and happiness.

Today, I thank God for the special and treasured blessings of life, family, friends and of you.

What is your Thanksgiving Story? What’s the story of your journey.

About Island Traveler

Just A Dad With A Dream. Check out our new family adventures at beachandtrips instagram .
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88 Responses to Reasons To Be Thankful

  1. barb19 says:

    We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia, but I think we should because it’s a time for bringing family and friends closer together, showing our appreciation for all we have in this life. It has such deep meaning for each and every one of us.
    Great post IT!
    Happy Thanksgiving my friend!


    • Thanks Barb. I wish there is something like this also in the country where I was originally from. The true spirit of Thanksgiving is beautiful. It builds family to be closer. Some people think this day is all about shopping for great sales but that is what the material world has created. But digging the past shows it was and will always will be about being thankful for just about anything. Love this words from you, ” it’s a time for bringing family and friends closer together, showing our appreciation for all we have in this life.”
      Happy Thanksgiving my friend….best of all blessings for you and your family.


  2. auntyuta says:

    I can only say, yes, this is such a great post again, IT. Many, many thanks and have a blessed Thanksgiving! (I know Thanksgiving celebrations only from movies about America.) For Saturday night we are invited to a Barbecue party. Barbecues are very popular in Australia.


    • Barbecue party, family gatherings, celebrating family and friendship….that in itself is Thanksgiving. The most simple occasions but tendered with love and generosity is what defines this holiday. You my friend have in a way celebrated this day of gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving….best of all blessings for you and your family.Thank you.


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  4. Barb says:

    So my little one has grown into a young man. Who shaves. Who studies physics. Who I drove 8 hours through slooooow holiday traffic to bring home from college. Me grousing. Gnarling. Barely hanging onto the thought I’m blessed to have him, food, and a safe journey to a home. It’s really a matter of perspective. Thanks for the boost. hugs.


    • I was at a restaurant the other day and I was next to the mom who called a car rental company. She said with a joy in her tone, “can I rent a car? My son is hear to celebrate Thanksgiving…” Her voice and the spark on her face showed what this day is all about….it’s about being together even just for a few days. Our destiny sometimes draw us away from those we grew up with and care about but we do get lucky that there is holiday like this that gives us a chance to see each other again. There are things in life no amount of wealth can replace…no one can replace the gift on family. Thank you for the comment. Happy Thanksgiving my friend…. all blessings to you and your family.


  5. misswhiplash says:

    What a wonderful post that was! I suppose that because we do not live in America we are not always aware of the celebration of Thanksgiving. Never the less, I thank the Lord everyday for the blessings bestowed upon me, and like you I thank Him for my friends throughout the world… and you my dear are one of them!


    • Happy Thanksgiving to a very good friend. You just said what this holiday is all about when you wrote, “Never the less, I thank the Lord everyday for the blessings bestowed upon me, and like you I thank Him for my friends throughout the world.”
      Today, I too Thank God for friends like you. With that, I pray for lots of joy and blessings to you and your family….


  6. aRVee says:

    My friend, Happy Thanksgiving… Glad to be part of your 102 reasons… Stay blessed always. Enjoy! 🙂


  7. Your son dressed in his Turkey hat makes me smile. I’m sure it included feathers and what a colorful image is that!
    We will all gather at my mother’s house. I am so blessed that that includes my mother, brother and sister, and all our immediate family. It involved plane travel and overnight guests. I am so thankful for this reunion. The food will be wonderful as everyone is making something different to share. You, your wife and son have a most Happy Thanksgiving.


    • Oh, I wish my parents and sisters are here too so everything will just be complete like your family and the gathering you’re having. I miss family get togethers. In America , my family is my wife and son. My other sis is in Connecticut, to far to visit. May be one , we will visit her. Enjoy this holiday and make happy memories. Can’t to hear about them. God bless you my friend and your wonderful family. I bet the Turkey tasted heavenly!


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  9. cocomino says:

    Great post. I knew about thanksgiving a little thanks to your blogs.
    There is also your son’s school. It sounds so happy day. I’m also thankful to everyone. 😉


    • It was a happy day at school. Thanksgiving is something I only learned to appreciate for the past 8 years….It’s like Christmas minus the Christmas Tree. It’s a time to be with people you care about. Thanks for sharing.


  10. RVingGirl says:

    What a wonderful post! It’s obvious you gave it a lot of thought. May you and your precious family be abundantly blessed by our Almighty God on this day of giving THANKS…………..


  11. Wishing you the very best this holiday season and counting your blog as a blessing this Thanksgiving!


    • Thank you. I wish you and your family too a wonderful and joyous holiday. This is a season of celebration, of love and laughter, of being festive, of embracing a happy and meaningful life….all these a wish for all of us.


  12. What a wonderful post. Happy Thanksgiving!


  13. wolke205 says:

    Wonderful post, I have tears in my eyes. You are so right with what you wrote. We r not celebrating thanksgiving, but I like the meaning of it. The picture that your son made is so sweet. So young, so talented 🙂

    Have a Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving 🙂


    • Heartfelt words that gives me comfort. Thank you. My son creates things that never fails to surprise me. I think all kids have an amazing capacity to create. We just have to allow them to express their imagination and support them in what they do.
      Wishing you a Christmas holiday loaded with love and joy.


  14. Fox@n says:

    great pics, We just eat turkey.


    • Turkey sounds good. We had spinach lasagna made by a friend ,Rudy’s barbecue ribs…..and apple pie. Simple yet fun and delicious when shared with people you care about…..went midnight shopping afterwards…..Thanks.


  15. MOL says:

    Yes, there is a lot to be thankful for. Let this celebration be a celebration of our lives. And let everyday for the next 365 be a celebration of that celebration!


    • “Let this celebration be a celebration of our lives. And let everyday for the next 365 be a celebration of that celebration!” I want to freeze this words forever. Thank you. We do need to really live our lives and not waste whatever time we have left on superficial things and unwarranted stress. I wish for all of us happiness, love, peace….an lots of exciting travels.


  16. Arindam says:

    Beautiful post. Although i do not have much idea about thanksgiving, as it is not celebrated in my country, still i do not know why but i got bit emotional while reading this post of yours. Yes once a while we all need to thank god for his blessings & those people who love us , care for us unconditionally
    Thanks a lot for this lovely post.. Happy Thanksgiving to You & Your Family.


  17. thirdeyemom says:

    What a wonderful post! I always love reading your blog. It is so inspirational and touching. The photos are beautiful as well as the words and the love you have for your family. What a great deal you have to be thankful for! And to get so many comments on your blog is a wonderful thing! You know then that you are writing from the heart! Happy Thanksgiving! I’d love to hear more stories on your blog about your childhood and where you are from, how you ended up here and in Texas.


    • Thank you for the kinds and appreciative words. I will sure to add more about my childhood…I just need to dig more on my rusty memory drives….
      Sometimes it’s harder to recall childhood memories when at the present times, so much things are needing your attention. I’ll try my best. Happy Thanksgiving to you and a happy, festive holiday season to you and your love ones….


  18. semprevento says:

    Thanks for the wonderful comment you left me.
    always delighted to read you.
    Sometimes it is difficult to understand the translation, but slowly begin to understand all the sweetness that you put in your comments … as in life.
    a hug
    It ‘a pleasure to scroll through your life.
    Photo delicious ….


  19. Judith says:

    We of course, don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and thanks for allowing us to share a part of your life with you. 🙂


    • My pleasure Judith. It simply a day to say thank you in words and in kind to those who made a difference in our lives. It’s a day to thank people and friends like you. Wishing you and your family the best of this year’s holiday season.


  20. thirdhandart says:

    What a thoughtful, heartwarming post. Happy Thanksgiving.


  21. ristinw says:

    In my hometown, people don’t celebrate Thanksgiving Day. 😀 So, I don’t have a Thanksgiving Day story to share with you. Anyway, I wish you and your family a warm and sweet Thanksgiving Day! @u@


  22. zumpoems says:

    Wonderful post! Please consider being showcased at (see first post for instructions.)


  23. 102 reasons to be Thankful…great list! In 2011 you will always remember your wife’s thoughts and actions as she gave you the gift of love and friendship. I love the Christmas trees!! It’s great that you love the sea and she thought to give you this gift. Awwww…Thank you for “giving the gift of life to your son” and the gift of the wonderful memories you will always cherish for all eternity. Happy Thanksgiving (late) but better a day late…than not at all. I really missed being online for over 7 days. Moving is exhausting! Bless you as your new adventure will soon begin. ~Jackie


    • Thank you for the beautiful thoughts filled with warmth and kindness. Moving is hard and stressful. I hope that you’ll finish everything so that you can enjoy and relax this coming Winter Holidays. Do you have a Christmas Tree yet? Wishing you love and happiness always.


  24. dadirri7 says:

    wonderful post, you share so beautifully from your heart that it is heart-warming for me to read your words … we dont have Thanksgiving but like you our ancestors came a long way to this country (Australia), and we are very grateful for their courage and hard work … keep blogging!


    • Thank you. Comments like this makes me look forward that tomorrow would bring me inspiration to make better posts. Every journey, every path should end with a thankful heart for the good things we had in our lives.


  25. eof737 says:

    “Today, I thank God for the special and treasured blessings of life, family, friends and of you.” Amen to that! 🙂 Your last sentence says it all for me… Thank you my blog friend! 🙂


  26. thedailydish says:

    Lovely as ever! We had a marvelous Thanksgiving; hope you & yours did too!


    • That’s great to know. This is an event where we celebrate with family and friends. The turkey cookie you shared in your post was really creative and colorful. Wishing you and your family a happy and memorable holiday season.


  27. Wonderfully written 🙂


  28. Louise says:

    Your posts always make me smile. It is like drinking a glass of water when you are thirsty.



  29. 2e0mca says:

    I hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving – sorry I’m a little late… 🙂


    • That’s okay . Sometimes I get to busy too that I find it hard to check out my blog and those I follow on time. What matters though is we try….and to me, it’s the thought and gesture that counts. Thank you. Best wishes to your family.


  30. Susan Shay says:

    Thank you for pinging my blogpost. (Something Extra for Thanksgiving.)
    I loved visiting your site, and hope to be back again soon.


  31. jakesprinter says:

    This Thanksgiving day serves an inspiration to me to thanks or
    comment back my fellow bloggers cause i never comment back in my entire blog before 🙂


    • I thought it would be cool to answer replies and visit that blogger as much as possible. We are all here to support each others dreams and thoughts in the blogging world….Best wishes to your family.


  32. eva626 says:

    such a nice post!…happy late thanksgiving


  33. Wonderful post! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I’m thankful for family and friends but also for inspirational people like you that I have met in the blogosphere. Blessings to you and your family and thank you for sharing your heartfelt post so that others can be blessed with the true meaning of Thanksgiving! Take care! Vanessa


  34. Fergiemoto says:

    Nice post about Thanksgiving. It must have been very difficult to move away to a foreign land.


    • It was and still is. There’s the perk of having more materially but that can’t replace the longing for home and family. In a way, I’m still lucky cause I have my son and wife with me. Others ventured to foreign land by themselves, leaving behind their family. My thoughts and prayers for these people. Thank you and a merry holidays ahead.


  35. There is certainly a lott to be thankful for and I am truly thankful I found this blog :). I hope you had a great Thanksgiving with your family 🙂


  36. Your positive out look is such a tonic and you seem to view the world with fresh and accepting eyes every day. We can all learn from that. Lovely post, thank you.


  37. The Hook says:

    Best holiday post I’ve read this week!
    Your family is your inspiration and they’re fortunate to have such a talented Dad to tell the story of their life!


    • Thank you. That felt and sounded great. They do inspire me and make me believe in myself. They make things sensible for me. They make me see what I miss, feel what I long for, appreciate life when I used to take it for granted. They make me try my best in all things.


  38. jeanne says:

    Lovely post…you are truly blesssed!


  39. Beautiful post IT! It sure sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. That was very thoughtful of your wife. As for me, I enjoyed some relaxing time with family too. Nonetheless, I wholeheartedly agree with you that there is so much to be thankful for. I know that I am thankful for our blogging friendship! Also, I’m blessed to be here this very moment sharing my words with you. By the way, I can see that your son is very artistic. That is a very cute drawing indeed. 🙂


  40. jhirzel88 says:

    It’s tough to figure out what I need to be thankful for. My mom has a lot more to be thankful for. She managed to open up her own restaurant. Right now she is divorced, but yet, she’s making more money than she expected running her own business. Imagine that? As for myself, I have to be thankful for getting a good education, and trying to strive at what I want to do in life. I don’t want to change a thing. I just want to continue doing what I am doing or trying to do.

    There’s a lot of ways to be thankful for something, but sharing them as a comment is another good way. I’m sure that your son is proud of his piece of work that he did. He must have taken a lot of time and labor to do it too. I’m sure that he wanted to thank God in more ways than just saying a prayer.


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