The Holiday Table

The Holiday Table

By Siegrid Raible

This past Thanksgiving I met a neighbor and friend of thirty plus years at a charming Greenwich Village restaurant where we shared each other’s company and enjoyed a traditional turkey dinner. I like Thanksgiving because it is a holiday where all that is required is that you show up to the holiday table hungry. It is a time to celebrate with family.

My friend and I are without close family members nearby and we met to celebrate our friendship and to remember Millie. Last year my friend lost her mother, Millie – a vibrant, caring, kind 91-year-young woman. My mother and father died long ago and my brother doesn’t necessarily care whether we spend the holidays together. And since I lost my husband five years ago this Chanukah, my friend and I, without a traditional family are forging a “friends” family with new traditions. We are in the midst of planning our Winter Holiday celebration – a quiet holiday meal, followed by a good movie.

I have been thinking a lot since Thanksgiving about the table we set for our family gatherings. We Americans live in a country with an abundance of riches. We come in many colors, we hold different beliefs, and we have different dreams and aspirations, yet we celebrate the idea of family by coming together to share a meal and to give thanks for our blessings. And because we are a country of not only great wealth but individual big-heartedness, we make room at our tables for those who may not have a family. And, sometimes, as my friend and I are doing, we create new family groups.

I believe our families are microcosms of the larger family we call America. I also believe that if we put our minds together we can create an America where every person has a seat at her bountiful table. It is my belief that if we can add leaves to our country’s table and make a space for all those seeking a piece of that proverbial pie then we will make America truly great.

So as we approach 2017 let us pledge to work towards the goal of ensuring a place is set at America’s table for all those aspiring to share in her abundance.

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