Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks.
It is also a time for family, friends, food and drinks and most important conversation around the warm fire.
One year we tried a new tradition; before we ate the ‘meal’ we went around the table and said what we are most thankful for.
It keeps the perspective of the day as a posture of being thankful not just eating and watching football.
(which I do not like to do)
I really love the tradition of making memories.
Before we do that we have to return to making lists and figuring out what will be on the table.
Meal preparation can be days before the big meal, this year we already ordered the turkey off the farm.
I feel kind of bad it will be processed a few days before we cook it.
The reality is; it will give it’s life for our table. (hard to think about)
Then what else goes with it? potatoes, gravy, dressing, green beans (no casserole) just fresh beans, relish plate, cranberries made fresh, homemade pumpkin and maybe apple pie with real whipping cream.
Always a glass of wine, coffee and fresh water.
The menu cannot change as the grand children love the traditional meal.
I cook the dressing in a separate baking dish not inside the turkey the way some people do.
This year will be a little different as we will be getting new windows the day before and it might be messy.
I like to dress up a bit, not just jeans and whatever top, the tradition of a festive meal calls out for nice clothing.
Thanksgiving, is a time for slowing down.
Perhaps as we make a list for the meal we also can make a list of who we are thankful for and send out cards.
Mail is a dying way of correspondence now and to receive a hand written letter or card is priceless.
It adds meaning to the special time of year and gives depth in our relationships.
What do you do in anticipating the festive meal?
Let’s take time and remember the real reason we set a day aside for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks.
I mentioned already that we used to have very special traditions around the holidays when we went to our grandparents house.
After my husband and I got married we established new traditions as a couple.
The first mistake we made was to spend our first thanksgiving holiday as a couple with his family.
It created a lot of ‘feelings’ and after that we decided where to spend our time during the holiday seasons.
My family didn’t really do anything on Easter and they always did Christmas on Christmas Eve.
So we set it up that Easter and Christmas day would be his side of the family and Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve for my side.
It worked wonderful when we had children as I was determined to not drag them to different homes with different foods.
Good way to have sick kids and I was not going to do that to any of us.
Now that our children have grown, we still have our traditions only they have changed to adapt to the ‘grandchildren’.
We always have an Easter dinner. That is a tradition and anyone is free to join us.
We always have a big brunch on Christmas morning at some point in time we have had up to over 20 around the table.
I love to use china and pretty glasses, and we have old country rose dishes for Thanksgiving.
Then I purchased Christmas china dishes for brunch.
I love to see a beautiful table with pretty flowers and a fire in the fireplace warming the room.
Traditions for the holidays are so important.
Now that we are writing down a list of important things in our lives, what would your traditions be?
What is negotiable and what is not?
It’s important to know what you need for family and for peace in the holidays.
I am not one to over pressure our ‘grown’ children to be here for the mealtime.
They are making their own traditions and at some point in time my husband and I might be alone.
Restaurants make wonderful meals and if you choose a nicer one the meal can be a real treat.
I challenge you to figure out what your traditions are then do what you can to make that happen.
We can make our holidays full of tension or we can make them very peaceful by deciding what is most important.
It’s really a matter of choice and decisions for each family.
In our pursuit of giving thanks; it might be helpful to start a list in a notebook or scratch pad that you can carry with you.
Many times thoughts will come to me as I am shopping or writing or cleaning my home.
Write it down. Name it, give it a purpose and meaning.
It is a really easy habit to begin and once you start; it would be easy to exceed the list of one thousand.
I love to be with people who have an attitude of gratitude.
They have a circle of hope all around them and they are positive people to be with.
When you think of giving thanks it is a time for appreciation too.
When someone gives you something, the polite response is to say to them, “Thank you.”
Meaning I appreciate your thoughtfulness, I am in honor of your thought of me.
It makes me feel really special that they went out of their way to do something nice.
It is gratitude, and a posture of receiving.
In the same way; when we begin an attitude of gratitude and apply thankfulness in our hearts we make a choice.
Have you ever done something for someone and a few days later you received a thank you note in the mail?
Remember the surprise at receiving such a lovely hand written note?
That it would matter that much for them to take the time to say, ‘thank you?’
It kind of makes us want to do more.
Not for the notes in the mail but for the goodness that it creates.
I looked up the meaning of Thanksgiving, here is what it said:
the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God.
It doesn’t take much to say Thank you. If we are a believer it is really easy for us.
We can be thankful for every breath we receive, we can be thankful for every one in our lives who we love.
We can be thankful that we live where we have freedoms and choice in fact sometimes too many choices.
We can be thankful that we have medical care should we need it, and doctors who are prepared and trained.
We can be thankful that we have comfortable homes, and reliable cars.
So much of our every day, we can be thankful for and be in the posture of ‘I am so thankful.’
I do believe the first time you have a cold shower; you would so appreciate the hot water when it returns.
Little things, like light fixtures, washing machines and dryers.
There is so much around us on a day to day experience that we can be thankful for.
In our pursuit to create more thanksgiving in our lives, may we learn to integrate it so much that it is natural.
Shall we begin today to make a list and speak it out?
God I am so thankful for… and write it down.
Our anniversary is over and now we are moving in to the second week of November.
A time for giving thanks.
Anne Voskamp wrote a book that shared how she began to give thanks for everything,.
Everyday, she would name one or two things she was thankful for, heading to one thousand thanks.
In fact her book is called One Thousand Gifts.
When we integrate within ourselves a time for giving thanks, we choose to change our mindset and our heart.
We cannot complain when we are grateful.
We cannot be sad when we are in a state of hopefulness.
We cannot be negative when we choose to look at all the positive.
It becomes a time for giving thanks and living in a thankful place deep inside ourselves.
I love Thanksgiving. I love all that it stands for and the memories that surround me about the day.
Growing up it was always a special event. A day for family.
Our family was not always warm and fuzzy, but we did have traditions and one of them was a Thanksgiving dinner at our grandparent’s house.
We always dressed up and I remember sitting in the bedroom waiting for the curlers to dry.
Remember the old fashioned wire ones with prickly plastic sticking out of them and a plastic poker to keep them in place? Oh I so remember those nasty things when trying to create a curl or two from naturally straight hair.
We always dressed up in our dresses and fancy socks.
It was tradition to dress up and you would never arrive in old casual clothing.
I am thankful for the expectation to make that one day a special one.
A time for giving thanks.
I am not often able to remember good and positive moments when we were growing up.
But I do remember the table in it’s beauty, the food prepared by grandma’s hands and the fine china.
I don’t remember conversation or other parts of the day other than grandma always made a pumpkin pie.
The men would sit in the living room and the girls would be in the kitchen, while grandma cooked.
I pray that each holiday we have in our home our grandchildren will remember with warm fondness.
Our table, our food, our conversation, our warm fires and our pumpkin pie.
One day in the month of November we set aside a time for giving thanks.
A time for gratitude and appreciating all that we have been given.
I pray as we head to this ‘wonderful day’ we remain steadfast in our attitude of thanks.
Today is our anniversary.
Forty four years ago we walked down an aisle of a wonderful old church facing the lighted cross to say our vows and begin a life of living together as husband and wife. I accepted his name and our life began the moment we said, “I do.” At ages eighteen and nineteen did we know what love was?
Did we know what for better or worse would mean, or sickness and health?
Did we realize what richer or poorer meant when the cupboards were low and fridge empty?
Did we know that babies and all that required of us to raise them would be our biggest challenge as a couple?
Did we know what we promised when we stood there in front of several hundred people?
Life has changed our many ways of thinking.
It is good. We have faced many journeys with courage and strength and we move on to other ones that are ahead of us.
Age and life will teach us more.
We have lost parents and friends, through death, we have seen many changes throughout the years. What really matters is our choices in life to live true to our word.
From this day forward, we stand together.
For our children, our grand children and our legacy that we leave them.
The Pastor who married us was also our youth pastor. Such a wonderful man I remember him so strong in his faith and family values. He encouraged us in many ways.We saw him a few years ago at a memorial service and it was such a wonderful time of reuniting.
He said, “I wasn’t sure about you kids but I had hoped it would work for you.”
Today we are sharing our forty fourth year together, and miraculously we made it.