Nov. 19, 2023: Savoring Thanksgiving
There is definitely a shift underway. Stores and retail establishments have always put out their Christmas inventory in early fall. Some would say earlier and earlier each year. But for most of my life, it seems that most people decorated their homes for Christmas after Thanksgiving.
Clearly, that seems to be changing. I have lost track of the number of friends and neighbors who have already put up their Christmas Trees and lights.
I think this trend began during the Covid year, when so many of us were homebound for so much of the time. It seemed to brighten the mood and provide some much-needed joy.
I am a lover of all things Christmas myself.
But I must admit that I love Thanksgiving and am heartbroken that so many are shortchanging this powerful and soul-nurturing holiday.
I love that this holiday is focused entirely on gathering with those close to you, enjoying a meal together, and being grateful for all that you have. How powerful. How simple.
No presents to buy. No eggs to color. No costumes to create.
I also love that so many of the dishes that have become traditional parts of our Thanksgiving spread have connections to loved ones who are no longer with us. My mother-in-law’s Cranberry Chutney. My great-grandmother’s Viennese Crescents. My mother’s Special Mashed Potatoes and her Pumpkin Bread. Every year, it feels as if they are there with us as we gather.
This year I am once again hosting, and we will be a group of over 20, ranging from 4 to 87 years old. Family and friends, and loved ones. The house and yard will be filled with joy, conversation, and merriment. Football will be on the TVs, toys and games will be entertaining the littles, food will be abundant.
Many of those who are joining us will be bringing a favorite dish of their own that we look forward to enjoying. David’s Sausage Stuffing and Eileen’s Corn Casserole will have special spots on the table.
As I watch the weather forecasts, it looks like a fire in the fireplace and in the firepit in the yard will also be enjoyed.
We will all probably eat too much, laugh until our sides hurt, and savor the feeling of being together. We will catch up and reconnect, as we take a break from the fast pace of life and the demands of jobs, responsibilities, and to-do lists.
We will be thankful. And grateful. And at peace.
That is the power of Thanksgiving.