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Jennifer Hudson is thankful for everything in her life

Jennifer Hudsher two Davids celebrating Christmas 2011.

Jennifer Hudson and her two Davids celebrating Christmas 2011.

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Updated: December 24, 2012 7:04AM

At this time of year, when everyone is thinking about what they’re thankful for, I can’t help but be thankful for the many blessings God has given me. And while I have been given more than I could have ever hoped for, what makes me happiest is to know that I’m able to share those blessings and that they have the capacity to extend far beyond me to help others.

I’m thankful that I’m able to make children happy during the holidays. Now for the fourth year, in honor of my nephew, my sister Julia and I are hosting a toy drive for thousands of underprivileged children. The idea originated from, “How can we look forward to the holidays again?” We also find kids in schools working hard for their grades; they don’t have to get straight As, but they have to excel. And then we grant whatever wish they want. We are literally in tears when we’re watching these children opening their well-deserved gifts.

I am so thankful for my baby, David. Every day I look at him and I think, “You are the reason why I’m still here, the reason why I’m still breathing, the reason I can smile and keep going.” He was clearly only born to be a blessing because he touches everyone that he meets. At 3 years old, he literally holds his own!

I’m thankful for big David, my fiancé, who is here to help me in other ways. I say to him, “God always got somebody, and that somebody is you.”

I’m thankful for my big sister Julia. I know we are making our mother proud by sticking together and doing everything she taught us. No matter where I go or who I become, I’m still her little sister.

I’m thankful to be back home in Chicago for Thanksgiving. I’ve been working day and night for weeks, counting the minutes until I could be back here.

This year, everyone is coming to my new house for Thanksgiving. My brother, who was a great cook, used to always make Thanksgiving dinner with my mother. A few weeks ago I told my sister that I wanted us to make pound cake and peanut butter cookies together because that’s what my mom used to do for us. My best friend from the 6th grade, Walter, who works with me to this day (and is also a great chef!), has the turkey prepped so that my sister and I can just pop it into the oven and enjoy the day with our friends and family.

I’m thankful to be able to gather everybody I love in one place, because that’s what this holiday is all about. The people who are most important to me are sleeping over at my house tonight: my sister, Walter, my cousin Gina (who is also David’s nanny), and of course big David. And dozens of other family members will be coming over for turkey today; it’s going to turn into a full-on party, and everybody’s welcome.

Happy Thanksgiving, Chicago!

Jennifer Hudson donated her fee for writing this column to the Julian D. King Gift Foundation.

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