We all have different Thanksgiving memories.  For me, it means lots of food.  We would have the Macy’s day parade on the T.V., while preparing the huge meal to come later in the day.  There are certain holiday foods that are my family traditions, one of them being lots of olives!  You might say, “Ew!  Olives!  But for us, it was fun to sneak them from the table while preparations were being made.   We still laugh over how many olives we could manage to eat.

Speaking of the table, we had a big family with relatives, but we always had a place at a table for everyone.  The tradition of everyone seated together is still very important to us.  We set the table as nicely as we can with napkins, china, silverware, and crystal.  I even have turkey shaped butter!  Above the abundant food preparation, we are thankful for the holiday to enjoy time together.  There are always extra friends around the table, and we take the time to express what we are thankful for.  It is the sweetest sound to hear the little ones stating what they are thankful for.   Sometimes there are pinecone turkeys, homemade table decorations and more emphasis on the table setting than usual.

Call me stubborn, but I want family recipes for my holidays.  I know it doesn’t really matter what we eat, but it is meaningful to me.  If I don’t prepare the traditional dishes, the kids are asking where it is.  Part of the meaning in the dishes is where the recipe came from.  I still have many original recipes given to me that are stained, dog-eared, and faded.  When I see the recipes, I study the handwriting, the names of my loved ones, and think about that person making that dish.  My recipe cards have become a diary of my life.

Take the time to explore what brings you joy during the holidays and what can be let go.  If it’s too stressful to make a holiday dinner, then order pizza and have some joy with your family.  Don’t beat yourself up with someone else’s definition of how to spend the holidays.  Thanks be to God for holiday reminders of what we are thankful for.

Timothy 4:4 ESV

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.