I sat myself in front of my lap top with the intent to write a fun, lighthearted post on the holidays. I wanted to introduce you to my families traditions, both historically, given my Filipino American upbringing, combined with new traditions my little family of three have started on our own. This will not be that post ... quite exactly.
Though this time of year we innately are driven to give back to our communities, the results of our presidential election have left us as a nation, so divided. When this time of year calls for reunions of family and friends, many of us maybe left anticipating empty seats at the dinner table due to our opposing political views.
There is no table large enough for me to envision the diversity of guests that will be joining our family for Thanksgiving. As I type, I close my eyes and can clearly see spread through out my parents home, my Columbian-Filipino nephew running through the house. I can hear three generations of Filipino women, my grandmother, my mother and myself, speaking loudly in the kitchen. I see my three soon-to-be Caucasian brother-in-laws, born and raised in San Diego, being egged on to eat a balut (you'll appreciate my "egged" on pun even more if you know what balut actually is). I can smell the Thanksgiving turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy, alongside Filipino dishes like pansit and lumpia.
Throughout this scenario, are supporters of Trump, Hillary, Bernie, and even those who chose to not vote at all. There are devoted Christians and Catholics alongside Atheists and Agnostics. There are those who feel strongly on pro-marriage for all and those who believe in the tradition of pro-family.
These people, despite their opposing views will still be the one's I call for advice, invite to my wedding, welcome into my home, and continue to friend on Facebook (despite only liking their adorable photos of their children/grandchildren). They are my family. These people will continue to play a role in my life, however big or small, because at the end of the day, their political party, their views in life are exactly that - theirs.
As we get thrown into this holiday season, quickly after the results of what maybe the most controversial presidential election, we are left with mixed emotions. But regardless of who I voted for, who you voted for, our political leaders are not the ones who will be raising our families. They will not be the ones carving our turkey or passing the gravy at our tables. I'm reminded that though we elected our officials through our nations Democratic system, I can choose to not give them the power over who I decide is family.
At my Thanksgiving, the Catholics, the Atheists, the immigrants, the stoners, the pro-marriage and pro-family, hell, even the far left and far right - all have a place at my table. Despite our differences, we have one very important thing in common - our commitment to our growing family. Our nation, as diverse and divided we may feel right now, we too, all have one thing in common - our commitment to our nation's success. We may all have a different approach in achieving that, but in the end, if there's a place for lechon and turkey, a place for pansit and potatoes at my table, then there's definitely enough room for all of our varying opinions and beliefs in America, even the ones we may not agree with ourselves. I mean, come on, not everyone can stomach balut.