Gratitude Series: Thanksmas…

Welcome to our Gratitude Series! In preparation for the Holidays, the Team at The Bottom Line CPA wanted to share a few things about their lives and what they're thankful for this year.

Today's contribution comes from Marilyn Parham CPA:

My personal family tradition around Thanksgiving:

I LOVE THANKMAS!!!  My family has held this tradition for decades now.  The Saturday after Thanksgiving has been set aside for this wonderful holiday.  It is my favorite holiday of the year.

I am one of 7 siblings and my siblings average 2 children each.  Consequently, get-togethers are chaotic wonderful events.

Thanksmas usually starts on Friday as people start arriving.  We eat and play games and laugh. Saturday morning (sometimes Friday night) is about cooking and putting food items together to take to a big family Thanksgiving reunion at noon at a local community center.  This family reunion is on my mom’s side and she is one of 10 siblings. We meet and catchup and play and laugh for 3-4 hours. It’s so great to reconnect with extended family members (usually 80-100 of us)…it’s so important, in my opinion.  After that event, we head back to my Mom/Dad’s homeplace for the “Christmas” part of the celebration. We all meet for dinner which is usually always taco salad. During dinner, we go around the table and express one thing we are thankful for. After dinner, we gather in a big circle and have a “Santa Exchange”.  We have a dollar limit and we proceed to draw numbers to determine order. It’s a time of excitement and laughter and sometimes disappointment (when you item gets “stolen”) but everyone goes away smiling.

I am blessed to have such a large and wonderful family.  

My favorite Scripture, prayer, or devotion:

My favorite Bible scripture has always been “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”  This is found in the Bible at Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27 and even Mark 7:12.  It is considered “the golden rule” and I believe it is aptly named because if we all acted with this in our hearts, the world would be a much better place.  To truly put yourself in someone else’s shoes BEFORE you say or act would result in such compassion even if we still needed to say or do something difficult.  My efforts are to try to stop and breathe and think about this concept before responding with emotion and judgement in a situation…maybe even being radically and anonymously generous when someone is in need.  Anyways…I love this verse.

My list of things that I am grateful for this year:

I’m grateful for

  1. Parents that were always there wanting to spend time together and encourage me and discipline me in the ways that were right
  2. Siblings that still love each other and like to get together and laugh and play but also bear each other burdens
  3. Friends that never leave despite the situation
  4. Faith that always grounds me and gives me hope for tomorrow and appreciation for today
  5. My children. A son that has chosen to serve his country and that is strong and sensitive at the same time.  A daughter that is bold, confident and brilliant but also caring of those around her and a both with humor that makes me laugh
  6. A job that I believe is a mission and that I really connect to.  It may be hard sometimes and I want to throw things; but, I believe it makes a difference in people’s lives.
  7. Health that is good.  I can do better and want to but I am immensely grateful for my genetics that had provided me little ailment my whole life.  I am blessed and know it.
  8. My gifts that God has given to me that help me feel fulfilled when I use them.
  9. Nature that renews me and I so love to stop and enjoy and should do more of.  I love to travel and it is mostly because of the diversity of nature that I see when I do so.
  10. Contentment- I truly have a peace that I need nothing more than I have.  I have goals and want more but I know they are “wishes” and not “needs”.

I am blessed…truly blessed!!!  It doesn’t mean I don’t have heartache and bad things happen.  I just believe that there is always hope and that I am not alone.