As Thanksgiving rolls around yet again, it calls to mind many memories. It is truly my favorite holiday, always has been. It is about food, gathering together as a family, whatever that family unit may consist of, traditions, being bored with your relatives, wondering how you could possibly be related!!, falling asleep after the big meal. watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, pretending you like the football game that is on (who’s playing?!) remembering the holiday of the past, particularly if you have lost loved ones along the way. Thanksgiving is about all of these things and more.
Funnily. enough, as my friend CC would say, I donated several pieces of my parent’s furniture to The Salvation Army last week. In case you didn’t know, mahogany is so out! Millennials like light wood, (“mid century everything!) One of them was a mahogany dining room table (from the 1940’s where you would add leaves to expand it). We had this piece of furniture in the foyer of our UWS apt for most of the year, but opened it up for “company”. My mother, Muriel, spent days ahead of Thanksgiving preparing for family. It included a trip down to the lower east side for nuts, prunes and apricots (she made this concoction of prunes, apricots and marshmallows with a toothpick as a sweet treat-have never seen this anywhere else!) borrowing metal chairs for extra guests, polishing silver, getting the “good dishes” down from a shelf way up high in our kitchen (needed a ladder to get down), and putting out white bread to get stale for the famous Weinstein chestnut stuffing.
As Maria Shriver said in her weekly Sunday paper, “Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is filled with smells I remember, pictures in my head, stories of yesteryear, and a longing for my parents, who I miss every day.”
This year, my first born daughter won’t be with us as she is in Europe, so I will miss her dearly, but my younger daughter and her boyfriend will join us and make new memories. I can’t wait!
So this year, remember the past fondly, but don’t live in it. Soak in every moment of this wonderful holiday. Don’t let little things aggravate you. Let them roll off your back. They are unimportant. We don’t know what next year will bring, so be happy for the now.
Lastly, in addition to my love for my family, my friends, my dog Winston, and the life I have led thus far, I am thankful for my dear friend Barclay who I have blogged with for almost 2 years now. I am truly blessed.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday as well. It’s a day of REST where it’s perfectly acceptable to plop on the sofa, eat the leftover pie straight out of the pan, and sip your first glass of wine around 2pm as you monitor the simmering dishes on the stove.
In my teaching days, Thanksgiving would fall right after 3 nights of parent-teacher conferences where you would be so tired you’d worry if you were repeating yourself mid-sentence. Thanksgiving represented your reward for hard work and a time to reflect on the blessings of your family and your job – even if you had just put your foot in your mouth at 9pm the previous night and called 2nd grader Suzie, Sally, right to her parents’ faces.
Even though we Marcell’s don’t have a big family, on Thanksgiving, we always had every traditional dish represented at the table – the four of us plus Grandma Rosie would sit down to- twice baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, sweet potatoes, a giant turkey amply stuffed, alongside green beans and salad chiming in as the only healthy options, and that being questionable. This feast was followed by 3 kinds of Bakers Square pies. You would think we were preparing for a marathon the following day. No wonder we all plopped on the sofa in a carb coma!
This Thanksgiving, we will have the traditional carb extravaganza – but we will also be overwhelmed with gratitude. (Our wine may make its appearance at 1pm!)
2019 brought two tiny miracles into our lives – our twin granddaughters who are now home from a lengthy stay in the Neo Natal Intensive Care. We are praising God for our expanded family and looking forward to joys present and to come.
Maybe this is cause for another potato dish at our table!
Gratitude is indeed good for the soul.
The daily devotional that I read says this for November 22nd —
“A thankful attitude opens windows of heaven. Spiritual blessings fall freely onto you through those openings into eternity. As you look up with a grateful heart, you get glimpses of Glory through those windows. You cannot yet live in heaven, but you can experience foretastes of your ultimate home. Such samples of heavenly fare revive your hope. Thankfulness opens you up to these experiences, which then provide reasons to be grateful. thus, your path becomes an upward spiral; ever increasing in gladness. Thanksgiving is not some sort of magic formula; it is the language of Love.
Even if your Thanksgiving looks a bit like this New Yorker cartoon, may your heart expand with the language of love.