Holidays mean so many different things for each individual. Everyone has one or another holiday they prefer over others depending upon which they celebrate in their family. For some, Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. It conjures up images of families gathered around a large table eating dinner, watching (or playing) football, and relaxing with a cup of coffee and a slice of pumpkin pie.
Over the course of my life, Thanksgiving has created many varied memories – from traveling three hours to my uncle's on Thanksgiving day itself or spending time with cousins when I was unmarried to enjoying dinner at our own house to spending it with my husband's family. I even have one memory of working during the early hours of Thanksgiving morning at the zoo helping my fellow Education staff care for our reptiles, amphibians, and insects in our education collection. (That is a fun memory I will always cherish.)
For picky eaters, like myself, Thanksgiving dinner may evoke anxiety and fear. For the longest time, my mom (and later I) would bring something for me to eat in case the typical fare was not something I wanted. To this day, I am still not a huge fan of turkey (but I do love mashed potatoes and gravy!).
Over the years, I have discovered more dishes that I enjoy and found that there are even some that I like which my husband (who is considerably less picky than me) does not like. And of course, if you have children, you know how difficult it can be to find something they might enjoy. Or you find one Thanksgiving they eat everything on their plate and the next one you are bringing a can of Chef Boyardee for them for their Thanksgiving dinner.
When my mom and I joined our cousins, Thanksgiving meant time to spend together in the kitchen and around the dining room table sharing stories and memories. On a few occasions, we might have played a game but mostly we talked and chatted.
As a parent of small children, Thanksgiving has, at times, been less about socializing with adults and more about keeping the kids entertained or at least not breaking anything. For the last two years, our son has entertained us with a game he created – Toss Pal – using paper (or plastic) cups and teams that attempt to toss their cup onto or into the cup in the middle. He was so excited about playing it this year – especially since Dad bought him his own set of special plastic cups.
The Spirit of Thanksgiving
With all the food and family fun, it is sometimes easy to overlook that the point of Thanksgiving is giving thanks. Being thankful and showing gratitude for the people in our life is so important on this day and the other 364 days of the year. So let us remember: "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever" (Psalm 107: 1)
How do you spend Thanksgiving? Is it a quiet meal at home?
Is it in service to others?
Looking for more Thanksgiving-related posts? Please check out the following:
I joined up with Timberdoodle to share this Holiday post!