Joyce is the Marketing Administrator at Access Tech.
This year will be my first time in 25 years where I will not be spending Thanksgiving with my family. As I think back on past Thanksgivings, my mind always thinks of the chaos of getting Thanksgiving dinner ready, recounting my whole year with aunties and uncles that I haven’t spoken to since last Thanksgiving, and just being with my family. It was only until now, knowing I won’t have the same Thanksgiving this year, that I really thought about why Thanksgiving and other American holidays were so important to my family, specifically my parents.
My parents immigrated to the United States when they were young in search of the American Dream. They ended up settling in a farm town where the only Asian population was our family. We faced some struggles of feeling American when we did speak, look, or act like the families around us. But we could always count on the American holidays to make us feel like we belonged, that we were just as American as our peers.
Thanksgiving became a time our family could come together and celebrate being Americans. Our hardships and struggles were well worth it because we got to be in the greatest country in the world. It was an exciting time for our whole family to be together – kids home from school and parents off work. We’d wake up early to watch the Macy’s parade. The scent of the delicious meal we’d be eating in a few hours would fill our noses. We would feast on your typical Thanksgiving spread of turkey, mashed potatoes, mac-n-cheese, and more, but included our own culture with spring rolls, honey-walnut shrimp, and my mom’s world-famous lobster noodles.
Even though I won’t be at home with my family, there is still a lot to be thankful for. I’m thankful for Portland, for showing me that I can make a life for myself wherever I am. I’m thankful for my friends, who remind me that I’m still young. I’m thankful for my cat, Tofu, for being my work-from-home coworker and giving me cuddles on the most stressful days. I’m thankful for my partner, who has made Portland feel more like home. Most importantly, I am thankful for my family, who have shaped me into the person I am today.
Although Thanksgiving is centered around giving thanks, it’s important to acknowledge the history behind Thanksgiving. In my truth, Thanksgiving represents the colonization of this country and the untaught hardships of Indigenous Peoples. I choose not to acknowledge Thanksgiving as an American holiday, rather a reminder of what Indigenous Peoples had faced, and what they are still facing today.
I hope you all have an enjoyable day off with family and friends.
Disclaimer: This blog is written by the Marketing Administrator of Access Tech. The Marketing Administrator’s thoughts and opinions are personal and do not reflect the thoughts and opinions of other Access Tech employees.