Traditions: A Family Thanksgiving

As the year gracefully folds its way to a grand finale, my family and I gather our laughter, gratitude, and appetites for our time-honored tradition –our annual year-end thanksgiving. It’s all about giving thanks, breaking bread together, and celebrating the journey we’ve navigated as a family.

It all begins with a humble trip to hear the early morning Mass —the centerpiece of this tradition. Just like the uncountable twinkling lights of the church retablo, there wasn’t enough time to count all the blessings of the passing year.

After Mass, our pilgrimage continues to a chosen breakfast place, where we share not just a meal but a buffet of gratitude. This tradition, a brainchild of mine, is where we take turns expressing our thanks for the myriad blessings of the past year, starting from the boldest to the baldest. NY resolutions can wait.

It’s not just about the grand achievements or milestones; it’s about acknowledging the everyday miracles, the laughter, even the tears and disappointments, and the unwavering support that binds us as a family.

Each heartfelt ‘Thank You, Lord’ becomes a mosaic, painting a picture of our collective journey throughout the year. This simple act of acknowledging our blessings becomes the glue that binds us stronger and more resilient as a family.

We’re not just content with thanking the heavens at the breakfast table; we’ve added another spread to our tradition platter –the daily rosary. As the clock strikes 8 pm, our family and the families of my brothers and sister converge online for a daily rosary prayer. What started as a pandemic-induced practice in early 2020 has blossomed into a tradition that has endured for nearly four years. It’s a virtual gathering of hearts (sometimes of chismis, too), a ritual that transcends the physical distance that separates us. My prayer is to carry this tradition into the golden (or platinum) years, where wrinkles outnumber strands of hair, and the family tree expands with new shoots.

On the professional front, the year brought forth new projects and clients that shine a promising light for the future. The conference calls may have been —yawn— endless, but so were the opportunities –a fair trade, I’d say.

Amidst the laughter, Rissa, the ilaw ng aking tahanan, beams with contentment. The keeper of our traditions, she orchestrates the clutter into a melody of love and order. Andre and Nikkei, each with their own list of joys, remind us that life, much like a K-Pop concert or a birdie in golf, is a celebration to be cherished.

As the year threw some health challenges our way (mostly mine🥹) I found solace in a truth that transcends the physical –the unwavering belief that God’s strength surpasses any ailment. Each setback became a stepping stone, a reminder that resilience is not just a word but a testament to the incredible power of faith.

So here’s to traditions that echo with laughter, to triumphs big and small, to family bonds that weather every storm, and to a new year that promises more adventures, more love, and more reasons to be thankful.

Happy New Year cheers to you, dear reader, and to the unpredictable, delightful journey that is life!



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