Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Day Full of Gratitude

I know, I know, I've been doing a lot of complaining about people ruining my Turkey Day by pushing other holidays on me. I'm going to put that aside for a bit and tell you why I love Thanksgiving Day.

First of all, I love everything about fall. I love the intense colors of the changing leaves. I love the golden sunshine that streams into my living room. I love the rich flavors of fall baking. I love the smells of cinnamon, vanilla, and baking bread. I love how the fall landscape changes overnight with the first dusting of snow. And at the end of natures gloriously spectacular display, I love the arrival of the end of November and Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving has always been a warm and family-centic holiday for me. I remember years past when we celebrated at my grandparent's house. The cousins came down and it was a fun and festive day of wild games and an abundance of incredible food. A favorite pastime was trying to snitch a nibble before the prayer without getting caught. I'm sure my grandma wanted to strangle us by the end of the day--but we always had the best time.

And boy, could grandma lay out an impressive spread! The table was always set with the fine china and crystal. The turkey and side dishes were always mouthwatering. And nothing sparkled like grandma's special holiday drink--always served in beautiful cut crystal. Of course, the special holiday drink was just red punch mixed with Sprite, but to us it was a very special tradition.

I loved spending time at grandma and grandpa's house. I loved seeing my cousins (I'm sure I enjoyed seeing my Aunt and Uncle, too). I loved the traditions. The smells. The leftovers. I loved the whole day.

I can't wait for Thanksgiving this year. I have so much for which to be thankful. I am grateful for my family and friends. I am grateful for a husband that I both love and like. I am grateful for my health and the health of those who are most important to me. I am grateful to have more than I need, and opportunities to share. I am thankful to live in such a beautiful location. I am most grateful that my parents are still here to help create memories for my children.

This year, I would like nothing more than to provide for my family the same traditional Thanksgiving holiday that I remember. I know, some of the recipes may be new, the desserts of choice may have changed, and some of the faces are different. Regardless, the fundamentals of the gathering of family, the warm feelings, and the mandatory shrimp cocktail remain the same!


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