A Homegrown Thanksgiving

Before we get into today’s post, I have just one thing to say…this is my 100th post!! Allow me a moment of celebration…

Okay I am good. Moving on.

Next week is Thanksgiving. Can you believe it? What a year!! But before we start thinking of next year (why would you want to anyway?) Let’s focus on Thanksgiving!!

Thanksgiving is a day of feasting, family gatherings, parades and football games. There is no time like the holidays; a time specifically for giving thanks and gorging yourself on the most delicious foods of the seasons.

Last year my mom and I watched Food Networks Thanksgiving Baking Championship. It amazed us the amount of different foods other people have for Thanksgiving.

For my family we have always been the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, type. We don’t really have any family recipes we follow or traditions per se, except one…pie.

Since the beginning of our family, mincemeat pie has been a must have for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. But the tradition goes deeper than just having it every year. There is also a tradition of restraining my brother from tossing the pie out with the turkey gizzards.

You see it goes like this. Growing up in Oregon, my brother and Dad would go hunting and usually bring back an elk. And mom would can the meat and make pies out of it.

But there was one year they got a Mongolia size elk. Which meant Mom would be canning for days. And by the end of the canning and the mincemeat pies, Luke could no longer stand anything that had to with mincemeat.

In his words “it’s disgusting.” And I tend to agree with him. Today, my family is split on who loves the pie and who rather see it disappear. I hope the battle never stops though, it is always fun seeing how my brother will try and sneak the pie out.

Over the years, our Thanksgiving’s have changed, but one thing has remained the same; family. Every year it is how it should be. Organized chaos, a house filled with the smells of turkey and pies. Family spread out, different conversations going on at the same time and the kiddies trying to sneak a taste.

And that is how it should be. Contrary to popular belief.

Turn on the TV and you will see two different views of the holidays; one is complete disorder; have an unexpected guest for dinner? Quick panic!! Burn the pie? Freak out!!

But flip the channel, you see a picture-perfect set table, complete with crystal, fine china, and a whole turkey with holly and berries. There are two views of the holidays; black Friday crazy versus the queens’ table.

There is a happy medium we should strive for each holiday. A feeling of joy in the midst of organized chaos. These upcoming holidays represent something; a something that should not be overlooked, just because the pie might have gotten a little too brown.

Thanksgiving is meant to be a time of pausing for a moment, thinking back on the year, and finding all the things to be grateful for.

This year, more than ever, we need to stop for a moment and be thankful. Grab some paper, a pencil, crayon, whatever works, and list out top 10 things you are thankful for. Going into Thanksgiving with a grateful heart puts you in a better mindset for the holidays.

For example, if the top of the pie got too brown, the inside is still good!

While Thanksgiving is for giving thanks, Christmas is the time to also stop, and remember how and why Jesus came to earth, born as a babe. And one day providing salvation through His death and resurrection.

Christmas morning for us has always included the reading of the birth of Jesus from the book of Luke.

Again, it puts you in a better mindset going into Christmas day. Knowing you are not celebrating the tree or the gifts, but the birth of Jesus.

These holidays are a good thing, meant for us to stop and give thanks. And that is the key here, stop. Pausing. Thinking. Thanksgiving and Christmas come once a year, so don’t ruin the moment by stressing the details.

Take some time to pause and reflect. We don’t want to rush these holidays, this season of thanksgiving and joy. Don’t think ahead to the next holiday, don’t freak if the gravy burns, or the dreaded fruit cake suddenly appears on the table. Take a breath and enjoy each minute as it comes.

Holidays are meant to be crazy; this is what makes them memorable. Last Christmas there was 12 of us enjoying a Christmas in a very small house. It was crazy, noisy, hot, and loud. But we were together, that’s what counted.

This year, these holidays should be extra special after the year we’ve had. So, my advice is chill. It is only holiday cheer. Sit back and enjoy it.

And that is what I will be doing. I will not be posting next week. As I will be taking the time to enjoy the Thanksgiving week, and restocking on new blog posts.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.