Saturday, November 24, 2012

Isn't That What it's All About???

 First of all we had an absolutely LOVELY Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday. Everyone that we invited came with the exception of one neighbor's wife which meant that we had exactly enough place settings for every adult that joined us. I was very sorry that she was ill, but very thankful that there wasn't a lone adult sitting on the living room couch eating their dinner while everyone else sat a the tables. :) In reality though, that lone adult would have been my husband or me. And actually as I picture the day in my mind there was still one seat left for her. One of our guests fed her 2 yr old son at the table in our neighbor's wife's would-be seat, so there actually were enough places set. O.k. this post has started out in a ramble. Oops!
kid's table

Let's talk about that title for a moment...Isn't That What it's All About. I chose this title for this post because this year at my 4th Thanksgiving dinner, there was no family in sight. Everyone one that came was a close friend of ours or family members of close friends. We had a great time as I was not about to let the absence of family deter me from creating a special place for others to gather and give thanks or deter me from making memories to pass down to my girls.

Neighbor taking ALOT of cake home
So in my planning of this year's dinner, I ran across what my husband called "apathy" about this most wonderful of holidays. I was texting with a friend who asked about how my plans for dinner were progressing and she mentioned during the conversation  that "Thanksgiving is not that big a deal anymore because of family members who've passed or moved away." In talking to my mom I heard some of the same attitude. It was more like, "don't cook this or that, that's too much to do, or you're really into this this year." Comments that implied to me, that Thanksgiving is "not that big a deal anymore."
Some visitors

When I was growing up, it was a big deal. All of my aunts and my mom in the kitchen, arguing about whose dressing or mac and cheese was the best (my mom's was and still is the best). All of the family gathered at my grandmother's house, Christmas decorations already going up and the best food I'd ever tasted covering every surface from the kitchen to the dining room! That was Thanksgiving.

kid's table and a couple more guests
I get that family members have grown up and moved away, started families of their own or the simple fact that today's families are much smaller than the families that we or our parents' generation grew up in. But is that a reason to throw away the traditions that brought our families together? I'm pretty much appalled at how many people don't celebrate Christmas with the idea of Santa or a Christmas tree. The same things that they loved as a child, they have somehow become convinced that these things are no longer good enough or sensible enough. Some feel that these types of ideas take away from the true meaning of these holidays. I'd love to bring to their attention that those holiday celebrations did nothing to derail them from their life's accomplishments or from becoming a Christian. I personally feel that these ideas and gatherings made childhood remarkably memorable.

Hence, my title. Isn't the trouble of cooking a big dinner, decorating your home with browns and oranges and golds or stockings over the fireplace , wreaths on the door, holly, Christmas trees, garland, mistletoe and the like what it is all about? Isn't it about creating environments, atmospheres and smells that will take up residence in our children's hearts and souls as they did ours? Isn't it so that these memories and events would be so etched within them that when they become adults they'd too, use these very same ideas, thoughts and gatherings to keep my and your children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren together? Isn't it about passing down traditions that do no harm at all but only good for the family as a whole? Isn't it about teaching our girls how to prepare a traditional dinner, our boys about how the first turkeys were hunted and killed for food, or girls and boys about planting, growing and harvesting? Isn't it about taking them to the grocery stores to see the busy-ness of the checkout lines, moms and dads hunting up and down the grocery store aisle with a shopping list in hand making sure nothing is forgotten? Isn't it for preserving the good, forgetting our differences and our disagreements and coming together to take a minute or a day to say "thank-you" to God and each other? Isn't it so that Great Grandma can know who her newest great grand is? Isn't it to be able to sit around and your children hear the same stories that you heard told around your Thanksgiving table as a child? Isn't it about the build up of anticipation and maybe even some stress to get everything out of the oven on time and the sigh of relief when it's all over? Isn't it so that the older generation can now sit back and relax while the younger moms prepare the food and the tables? Isn't it really simply all about love and family and time? The love for our neighbors and friends and the time that we've been granted to be with our family? Isn't it about bringing a little bit of yesterday into today?

I don't know...I plan to cook a great big Thanksgiving dinner every year that I am granted by God to do so. I will stand in my kitchen with hurt feet for several days to make sure that everything comes out of the oven on time. I plan to put my Christmas tree up every year, the very next day after Thanksgiving. I plan to continue to teach my girls why we do this or that. That we give gifts on Christmas because wise men brought gifts to Jesus on the night of His birth. They will know that giving gifts is for us to enjoy a special holiday and not to diminish what our Saviour's birth did for mankind. They will know that we bring in a tree and top it with a star because the star of Bethlehem was the guiding light that let the wisemen know a King had been born.

Yep, we will continue to love and cherish good God-given family time during the most special time of year. And hopefully my girls will grow up to do the same. At the very least though, they will have wonderful memories built up in their hearts and souls, and for me, mommytheteacher...that will be just plenty.

Thanks for reading...


  1. I heard y'all did it up! I know you got down with the cooking Step and I hate I missed being there with you guys. :) I miss y'all. I'm glad you had a great holiday filled with fun and good friends. :)

  2. Hi,

    I am visiting from the holiday party at The Journey Back.
    Hoping you stay warm over the next week or so.


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