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While the Ayo! team has been very busy working on thank you emails for Thanksgiving, I recently realized that I have never really thought about the meaning of Thanksgiving. As a Dutch girl I have never celebrated Thanksgiving. And as a Dutch girl I never wondered what Thanksgiving really meant. So I did a little bit of research and this is what I found: Thanksgiving is celebrated primarily in the United States and in Canada. It’s a day when families and friends come together and have a nice dinner together. During this dinner they are often eating a turkey and a lot of other delicious things like pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy. Basically this whole day is about reflecting. Back in the day it was about being thankful for the blessings of the harvest and of the preceding year. Nowadays we are thanking for a lot of other things, as well.
In the United States it’s been a national holiday since 1789, proclaimed by the first president George Washington. In Armenia we don’t have such a day, nor do we have it in Holland. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t be thankful for all we have in our lives. We actually say thank you for a lot of things—birthdays, favors, assistance, compliments, etc. It’s not only the big things that we are thankful for. Even the smallest things such as getting a kiss from your partner or parents in the morning could be a reason to be thankful. A simple thank you can mean a lot and it’s always welcomed. It reminds you of being appreciated and respected. You get the feeling that the things you do matter and that they have an impact.
Take a minute to think about the things you have been thanked for. (Feels good, right?) And have you ever donated money? Even donated money to Ayo!, perhaps? Well, no matter how much you gave, how many times and for what project you supported, thank you. You made an impact. This year you changed someone’s life. Think about the elderly people with decent kitchenware in their soup kitchens who can now eat a dignified meal, or about the disabled pupils at the Gavar School who can use the elevator whenever they want, or the visually impaired children who can read whatever they want now thanks to the Braille printers we got them, or the people in Tavush who will be safer with the wall that will help protect them from gunfire. This has all been realized because of your generous help. Once again, thank you very much. Use this special day to thank people. Make them realize that they matter. No matter how small or big the act is, saying thank you or receiving thanks is always nice. Even this Armenian girl from Holland is saying thank you today to her host mom for bringing her coffee, and to her friend who waited for her in the cold, and also to the cashier who put everything in a bag for her at the store. Thank you for being there! What are you thankful for? I’m curious to hear about it, leave a message here (as a comment) or shoot me a private message.