Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It makes me slow down and count my blessings. The obvious ones are waiting for me to make their breakfast, but in the hustle and bustle of life it is easy to forget our more subtle gifts. I love having a day to spend with family to do just that, remember how blessed we are in the details. While we lived abroad in Singapore, we hosted a huge multi-cultural pot-luck Thanksgiving. 20 adults and 25 children gathered around my table to break bread and share favorite dishes from their home cuisines as I plated up turkey and the fixings. I tried to explain to my expat friends what Thanksgiving was all about. A day to stop and think about what we are thankful for in our lives and to share with family and friends.
“Oh, so it’s like Christmas?”
“It’s like what Christmas should be but isn’t in the U.S.”
This year, I am cooking a Thanksgiving dinner, vegan style, because my sweet sister-in-law who just made me an auntie again Sunday, follows that lifestyle. I am thankful that she loves my brother-in-law and that she has worked so hard to bring a new little life into the world. I cannot wait to hold my first nephew in my arms. It’s not about the food; it’s the emotion behind it. I want to provide nourishment and comfort and love to a new mama. (Update: the vegan pumpkin cheesecake was a hit, and I managed to get everything prepped with a single paring knife in our rental kitchen! Whew!)
On Friday, my husband planned an excursion to a nearby Arboretum, and I spent the day tromping around with my children, delighting in their wonder and curiosity. They explored nature, made silly jokes, and gave many impromptu hugs. This is something I miss in our daily rush of school routines and extracurricular activities.
I also decided to run a Black Friday giveaway this year, to coincide with my Christmas Spirits release. I asked the lovely readers on my newsletter list to tell me what they were thankful for in an email to enter. The responses I got were truly lovely, and they brightened my day.
Highlights from the list:
Family, children, siblings, and spouses : I don’t think there is anything more important than stopping to appreciate the people who fill your everyday life with joy and pride (when they’re not creating mountains of laundry)
The animals who fill our days with unconditional love
A solid home with a roof over our heads: There are many in the world today who cannot say this and yet, I know I tend to take it for granted.
Books: This cannot be overstated. I am so thankful for the talented authors and books in my life for their ability to take me into their world and away from mine for a little while.
Friendships: This is the one that touched my heart most deeply. I am so incredibly thankful for the community of friends I have built online, and it warms my heart to hear that you all value that, too. Laughter, tears, encouragement, and shenanigans, you dear friends, fill my day with interactions that I wouldn’t otherwise have in my life. I am so glad that I’ve found you, whether you are a reader of mine or a member of the OSRBC. You’ve changed my life for good, and I truly value the time you spend with me online.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!