Thanksgiving would have to be my favorite holiday, hands down. I know most people love Christmas, but I love Thanksgiving for the sheer simplicity of the holiday. What do you do on Thanksgiving? What is expected of you? EAT! EAT! EAT! That’s it! Sure you may have to travel or you may have to cook for a whole crew of picky relatives, but seriously all that the day entails is relaxing and eating. Yes, of course it is about being thankful to God for all we have. But all we have to Do is hang out with family and/or friends and eat. No pressure. That’s what I love about it. Keepin’ it simple.
And that is what I dislike about Christmas. Yes I just said that. Dislike. At least I did not say hate or loathe. I did go through a phase where I really seriously loathed the Christmas season. Why? Because it was stressful. Buying presents for everyone. Having the money to buy presents for everyone… ugh. I hated hating it. But I did. I just couldn’t get into the meaning of Christmas when I was expected to buy buy buy…
That is why Thanksgiving is awesome. No presents. Just our presence. Being present to each other. And eating, of course. I wish Christmas was more like Thanksgiving. Why can’t our gift be just BEING with each other? <Sigh>
And then there is Grace~ saying grace at meal times. I was just discussing this recently with my book club. I was commenting how many people, and even Christians, do not say grace at dinner. They may only say it on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. The Catholic grace: “Bless us, Oh Lord, for these thy gifts, which we are about to receive from the bountiful hands of Christ our Lord, amen.” Actually only my family, the Cody family (and now the Richardsons), say it this way. Most Catholics say: “from thy bounty of Christ our Lord, amen.”
My son, Hunter will even remember to say grace when we are out at a restaurant (he keeps us in line!). My favorite memory was one Christmas dinner, back in I believe 2004-ish, there was a room full of people smushed around several tables and we were all about to dig in and Hunter, four at the time, said, “Aren’t we going to say Grace?” You could have heard a pin drop. The whole room went dead silent. But, thankfully, we did say our grace, though I knew most of the people in the room did not even say grace normally. It was a very cool ‘out of the mouths of babes’ moment.
And then someone at book club said they say grace at every meal. Every meal? Huh. I always ONLY said it before dinner. Made me think. Why? Why did I only say it at dinner? Maybe because it was the only meal where we, as a family, were all together. But why shouldn’t I also say it any time I eat, whether alone or with others? I should be thanking God about the food I was about to partake in every time! Right?! We all should be saying it at every meal and hey, even during snacks. I need to try to remember and practice this.
This is the first Thanksgiving in 15 years that I am having Thanksgiving at home with just us. I used to love cooking dinner at home. The last time I did this was when we lived in Dorchester, Massachusetts. I am so looking forward to this. I am looking forward to NOT traveling. Staying home. Just us. With a fire in the wood stove. A turkey cooking in the oven. And my boys and I just hanging out enjoying each others company.
So this Thanksgiving, we will give thanks to God for all we have, but I will mostly be thankful for the simplicity of just being home with my family.
And remember as we step over the edge of Thanksgiving and fall screaming like a girl into “the holiday season”… let us remember the reason of the season this “Black Friday”….