November 22, 2016

how i prepare for thanksgiving

Growing up, I loved Thanksgiving because my mom would make her homemade yeast rolls and I was in charge of the chocolate pudding pie. My sister, Darcie, makes delicious vegan gravy and my cousin, Ben, whips together amazingly creamy mashed potatoes. 

Thanksgiving was always about the food. Don't get me wrong, it is still a huge part of why I love that day but the meaning of Thanksgiving has become more significant to me these past couple of years.

I love that we have an opportunity to be with family and friends. To reflect on the things that matter most to us. Family, friends, our home, bed, food, nature, the Gospel... these may be the "clich├ęs" but they are the first things that come to mind when listing my gratitude. That quality time and reflection has become what Thanksgiving is all about for me.

Similar to every important event in our lives, we prepare. I have found that preparing not only physically but also mentally and emotionally for Thanksgiving is essential for making it a valuable and memorable day!

Keeping in contact with loved ones is actually a huge challenge of mine. This time of year I make a special effort to make phone calls, quick visits or send letters to friends and family. Even with that special effort, I still am not perfect, by any means. 

However, when I do make the one phone call or write that one letter, it feels so good. I imagine, and hope, it makes that other person feel my love and gratitude for them.

My husband has such a big heart. That has to be the number one thing that made me fall in love with him. He is constantly looking for ways to serve and usually jumps at the opportunity. Whether that is helping someone with their car, cleaning our church building or helping me around our home, he shows me the importance of service. 

Giving a little of our time, effort or talents can make such a difference. It never matters whether it is great or small. It never matters if we are thanked or given a reward. It does matter that we are a little less selfish and a little more aware of those around us. It does matter because even if it goes unnoticed, we are becoming just a little... better.

All my life, I've been taught that traditions are important. I still, to this day, don't fully know why we, as a society, make traditions. Maybe to hold on to family values and culture. Maybe to have something more to look forward to. Whatever the case, I find traditions wonderful because no matter where I am, if I am with those that I love and upholding some of those traditions we've created, I feel at home.

My all-time favorite tradition in our family is the traditional, going around the table and sharing what we are grateful for. It warms the room to hear each person express their love for others and take account of what has been given to them.


Before the commotion of Christmas and Black Friday (which is really just becoming Thursday night)... let us all remember what we are grateful for. Let us all take a look around us and remember we are loved, cared for and wanted.

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends.

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