The holidays are upon us. Don’t even think about trying to ignore it.
Thanksgiving used to be its own celebration but now it’s mostly a warm up for the real end of year grand finale of events, shopping mania to shore up the economy, sparkle, dazzle and rich foods. Even so I still love Thanksgiving and what it used to stand for.
My family chooses to do the whole traditional meal. I have made the roast turkey, dressing and gravy for forty-five years with only a handful of exceptions. I didn’t plan it to happen but it did work out that way. So, because I know how and I could probably do it in my sleep with one hand tied behind my back I am the official roast turkey cooker.
Over the course of nearly a half century, one year adds unnoticed on to another, I’ve never stopped to think about how many turkeys I’ve prepared for the big meal, until this year. Sometimes you just have to pause and take inventory of time and how one meal of the same dishes can come to mean so much more than just a day on the calendar.
Much has changed, as it does, even as the meal stays the same. Children have been born, grown up and have their own children who are grown now. Life is never static and often complex. Life altering things often happen that interfere with schedules. I’ve chatted with people about this recently who all say similar things - “well, we used to gather at mom’s house but it’s just impossible to get everyone together now...”
Yes, life changes things and yet somehow my tribe has still managed to gather, in the best way we can, for this meal. Sometimes, take this year for example, we had to find another day on the calendar that will make it possible for as many as can to come together. Even so, not everyone will be able to come.
While every year is different and our numbers are never the same, we do make it happen. It’s not because we love this meal, not because of the same old food, but because we love each other and we want to be able to pray over and eat the meal that has come to represent so much more than a tradition.
We are grateful for our blessings, and we want to give thanks - together. Family.
I’ll be up early tomorrow getting the bird ready to roast. One more Thanksgiving. A tradition worth keeping.
Whatever your traditions are, as we step into the mayhem of the season, may you be blessed abundantly - and always grateful.
Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.