How fortunate we are to be able to gather freely with family and friends and share a special meal to appreciate the blessings in our lives.
During the early years of our marriage, my husband and I would eat two Thanksgiving dinners; we grew up in the same town, and our houses were just a couple of blocks apart. Our strategy was that each of us would eat more at our own family’s home, thinking that would prevent overconsumption.
Invariably, we ended the day uncomfortably full, having tried to graciously appreciate (i.e., chomp with gusto!) the culinary delights offered by the wonderful cooks in our families.
And as much as we told ourselves ahead of time that we wouldn’t go for seconds, we always succumbed.
Oh, our aching stomachs!
At the end of the day, we vowed that the following year would be different – but that only changed when my parents moved away, thereby relieving us of our double duty.
Foodies that we are, we still managed to overindulge – at only one dinner table – in fine style.
When it was my turn to continue the tradition of Thanksgiving dinner, I had new appreciation for the amount of time and effort it took our moms and grandmothers to prepare the meal.
As the years passed, I began to see that the plethora of organizational details and the largesse of the meal were distractions that diminished the real focus of the day – gratitude for even the least of our blessings.
Grateful for this realization, my holiday preparations took a new direction.
Delicious and abundant food, though still enjoyed, became secondary – and those around the table were the greater delights of the day.
This year, a new thought came to mind…
What about doing extra helpings as part of our Thanksgiving traditions?
The possibilities are endless, and needn’t break the budget.
Here are a few:
- Call someone who could use cheering up, or someone you haven’t been in touch with for a while, just to say you’re thinking of them.
- Reach out to mend a broken relationship.
- Visit someone who is alone – or invite them to your Thanksgiving table.
- Give flowers to the person behind you in the grocery line – just because. (A lovely lady did this to me once, and I have passed it on.)
- Pray for someone you know who is hurting or suffering from health problems.
The ideas are endless; and you are all creative and resourceful enough to come up with some great possibilities. Maybe you could even share your ideas!
I challenge us all to do some extra helpings this week, this season.
…And seconds at the Thanksgiving table are okay, too.
But above all, let’s fill the cornucopia of our hearts with love, grace and kindness for everyone in our lives, as we thank God for His overflowing Providence.
Let me shout God’s name with a praising song, Let me tell his greatness in a prayer of thanks. ~Psalm 69:30 (The Message)