Faith · Family · Health · Perspective

Giving Thanks – Memory Style

Thanksgiving. Food. Family. Giving of Thanks.

We are on the cusp of one of my favorite holidays. Thanksgiving.
My mom alternates between watching the Macy’s Day Parade and preparing dishes. After 30+ years of watching/helping this process, this is also what I do on Thanksgiving morning. It’s tradition.

Typically, we decorate for Christmas during this week as well, also a habit adopted from my mother. The whole crew gathers for a meal during this week. The last few years, we also pick a day this week to work cattle in the hills. Sadly, gathering plans are different this year.

Instead of dwelling in the muck that is a local covid outbreak, my mind shifts the focus to a couple general favorite holiday memories. All my favorite holiday stories revolve around family. My life overflows with gratitude for the loving foundation I was raised in. Surrounded with love on all sides.

My grandma Ramona laughing so hard she couldn’t finish- or sometimes start- a story. Tears would stream down her face. Gosh, I love that memory! Cramming the tables, sitting on the floors with plates, singing the doxology and eating-napping-playing outside- eating again… On repeat every year for that side of the family until we said goodbye to our patriarch and matriarch.

Similarly, mom’s side gathered and filled the house for holidays. The kitchen aromas -always Grandma Evelyn’s French bread, laughter, competitive games such as pitch, Rummikub, and spoons, and the younger boys getting into a scrape… Always placemats on the table. The enjoyment of spending time with my aunts, uncles, and cousins is treasured.

It was a crowd and volume adjustment for my husband the first years of holidays with my family. We get loud and then louder. Holidays are not just one meal. They encompass entire days.

If you are like me, 2020 has made you extremely weary of the cancellations and limitations. We’ve all been asked to undertake the uncomfortable by altering our cherished traditions. On hard years, such as this one, it is imperative we shift our focus to the beautiful holiday memories!

What are your Thanksgiving memories?

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