Why I Love Thanksgiving

The poor pilgrims. They just get lost in the holiday shuffle, don’t they? I’m with Bonnie on this one. As a kid, I have nothing but love for turkeys and all things pecan pie. This year was no different. While the rest of the world worried about when Target opened, you know what I was doing?

Playing chicken foot.

And eating chocolate pie.

That’s living right, y’all.

Let’s take a quick look at our Turkey Day, shall we?

First up – after getting the turkey in the oven and doing a quick vacuum of the living room floor – was Mass. I did send Scott and the kids before me because I just couldn’t get it all done before the procession. I made it in time for the readings and snuck in the pew. Smelling like parsley, garlic and turkey, no doubt. There was something our priest shared that I think is worth typing here. He reminded us that all people who sit at the Thanksgiving feast have much to be grateful for, but each of us brings our own set of burdens to the table. The beauty of God, he reminded us, was “that we look past the darkness and see God’s light. Isn’t it fitting then, that before we dine in our own homes, our feast begins here. At this altar of thanksgiving?”

I know. I might’ve taken a second to just let those words percolate in my brain. So brilliantly and beautifully said. Thank you, Fr. Danny! Just before Mass I always feel stressed and think, “I should just skip it so I can get things finished up before the feast.” And every year my husband reminds me that the turkey can wait.

Here’s the whole gang. Don’t you EVEN check last year’s turkey photo¬†to see if the kids are wearing the exact same clothes. Hey, two holidays, same shirts. I call that WINNING.

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After Mass, we headed home to finish up the final details on lunch and await our houseguests. My parents traveled to Alabama to be with my brother and his family, so we invited some friends over. Between the two of us we had 14.5 folks here. It was awesome. Here’s a shot of the adult table and the kids’ table.

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The kids crafted some great placemats out of scrapbook paper, crayons and stickers. I asked them to write down one thing they were grateful for and I was so impressed with the creativity. That project kept little hands busy as we wrapped up the meal prep. Those “give thanks” jars were a project a few years ago and they turned out so cute, I kept them.

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I’m also cracking up that of all the food we made, this is the only photo I snapped. DESSERT. Of course, I did. And, yes, those turkey cookies were just as good as they look. My good friend Kendra made those and she totally outdid herself. Mad decorating skills, I tell ya.

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We managed to corral the kids for one group shot (minus socks!). They were like caged animals once we set them free. That’s the last evidence I have of Thanksgiving 2013. But sometimes the best memories aren’t ever captured on film, or a digital camera card. Our afternoon was spent playing outside, sharing good conversation, drinking wine (or caffeine-free DP for the pregnant lady), watching football, eating and playing a raucous game of chicken foot.

We chuckled when Luke came bursting in the door in search of a flyswatter so he could get his soccer ball from underneath the van. We told him he wouldn’t work, but he ignored us anyway only to return minutes later confidently saying, “Told ya!”

Then there was Anna-Laura and her middle of summer outfit. After asking me one million times if she could change and me encouraging her to stay warm, decided to put on new clothes and proclaimed, “I’m not cold at all, Mom.”

We *think* the neighbor dog was chewing on a squirrel bone. That was over an hour of entertainment among the kids as they tried to solve the riddle.

The boys hovered by the TV, awaiting football plays and scores.

The ladies of the house just gabbed and laughed.

And I was thankful. So, so, so thankful for good friends, good food and no shopping. At all. It was the loveliest of days and it reminded me to be content. With all that I have and all that I am.

I pray your Turkey Day was just as fulfilling and relaxed. Gobble gobble.

 

2 Comments

  1. verdinalouisa on December 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Love it! Your priest’s message is soooo true! Chicken Foot? What is the minimum age for that one? Sounds fun. I have already posted on FB about our very special day! Good for Luke on retrieving his ball. He is definitely tenacious! Love that kid!

    Your wonderful card arrived yesterday… wonderful!

    God bless!
    V

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