Friends-giving 2.0

In the past, the holidays meant so much to me because it forced my family together in one room for a couple of hours so we could stuff our faces and tummy’s as a family. Since moving to Texas, I knew I would be missing the opportunity to do so this Thanksgiving, but I was totally wrong.

The holidays for me are a time for family to come together and be as greedy as you want, to share things, and catch up. This year, I decided to share my traditions with my roommate and his friends and family instead of sulking at the fact that I wouldn’t be home for the holidays. This is how Friends-giving 2.0 was born!

Even though I was not going home for Thanksgiving, I still wanted to celebrate everything I am grateful for since moving to Houston, like my host site at Interfaith Ministries, the ability to spend my free time at Christ Cathedral during the week with an autistic teen who attends Sunday school at their “Lighthouse Program,” and the opportunities this program offers me so that I can be closer to God. Grateful does not even come close to how I feel since being here in Houston.

I kicked off my Thanksgiving with a little yoga at Moody Park. This was to prep my soul for a day filled with cooking and hosting.  While I was outside, I couldn’t help but notice the perfect weather. The sun was bright and there was just enough of a breeze that made the weather just so comfortable to sit and relax. After that, I ran home to prepare the dinner. The menu consisted of garlic mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, collard greens, broiled asparagus, cornbread stuffing (Are you drooling yet?), Jolly rice (a Ghanian rice dish), turkey of course that Matt so kindly bought us, and I cannot forget the delicious Vanilla bundt cake he made as well. For a total of 7 hours I whipped, cracked, stirred, marinated, and danced my way around the kitchen.

Finally, around 5 o’clock, dinner was ready to be served! I remembered how beautiful it was outside and decided that dinner would be held outside. As my roommate Chris and his guest brought out the food, I could not help but watch and think about how proud my mother would have been to see that I could actually pull of a whole Thanksgiving meal on my own! I also noticed the smiles on everyone’s faces as we sat together and blessed the food. They weren’t the family I laughed and prayed with last year, but they were the new friends I got to stuff my face with. They are my friends that shared the same gratitude I shared with my family. I was able to share a piece of me with friends.

Vesta, Interfaith Ministries.

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