Thursday, November 24, 2011

Miscellaneous Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Hubby and I will be alone for most of the day today. And that feels just fine. We're actually looking forward to it. A day of not doing anything we don't truly want to do. Sleeping in and feeling okay about having a lazy day.

I'm going to start the day sitting with my morning latte at the kitchen table making a list of all I have to be thankful for. My list will be long. I may have to have a second latte.

Often on Thanksgiving when we are sharing the meal with others, we go around the table and each person says why he or she is especially grateful on that day. Sometimes what a person says is surprising.

My husband always thanks me for each meal I prepare and set on the table for us. Every day, no matter what the occasion. That's a big something for me to be thankful for right there.

My father-in-law could not have been described as a romantic or sentimental man. He and my mother-in-law were married on Thanksgiving Day. He never could understand why they couldn't celebrate their anniversary on Thanksgiving each year. He thought that would have just been so much easier than remembering the exact date.

Helen and Scott Nearing, early back-to-the-landers striving to live a self-reliant life style, always marked Thanksgiving Day by going on an apple fast; all they ate all day was apples in protest of what they called the gluttony by so many people who over-eat on the holiday.

When I was growing up, my folks frequently hosted Thanksgiving at our house for our big extended family. We ate around the dining room table on mom's best dishes and white tablecloth. As many card tables as necessary were set up in the corners to accommodate the younger generation. Our meal was always at noon and everyone stayed the rest of the day. One thing I remember that seems odd to me now is that when mom and the other female relatives cleared the table after the main meal, all the leftovers were spread on the table in the kitchen and we snacked on this food the rest of the day and then pretty much polished it off for our evening meal which was eaten before everyone left to go home. Nothing was refrigerated for those five or six hours. 'Tis a wonder we all didn't wake up dead the next morning because of food poisoning.

I wonder what would happen if we all made this Thanksgiving the start of a more peaceful, content-with-what-we-have holiday season? Rather than participating in the Black Friday frantic frenzy of shopping for shopping's sake, what if we all stayed home and savored the day? We could take a leisurely walk or hike, work on a craft we love, read a book, simmer a huge pot of turkey vegetable soup, make a holiday wreath or two while spending the day with holiday music playing in the background.

The holidays are what we make of them. I personally want to make a real effort to handle them in a way that is more enjoyable, less stressful and brings me more joy and fulfillment. Sounds selfish? Well, I can't change anyone else, but I can change myself. In theory that should make it better for everyone around me. Certainly something to work toward.

One last Thanksgiving thought: I'm very, very thankful for all of you I've gotten to know to one degree or another through the magic of blogging. Years ago I used to participate in our community playhouse productions. I think the thing I enjoyed most about my involvement was that I got to know people that I never would have in my primarily homebody-type life. That's much the same way I feel about blogging. It brings all of you into my life.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!


Peggy said...

A very Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

Sue said...

What a great post.
A VERY Happy Thanksgiving to you too. I'm always grateful I "met" you--we're so much alike at times it's almost scary.
Don and I are home this year and ever so thankful for that. Well meaning neighbors invited us, but think we're odd because we truly enjoy being "alone" on holidays.
After a fine meal, we're heading out for a hike in the woods.

No Black Friday for us. We'll be home hanging Christmas garland, just as we have all the years past.

Have a wonderful (peaceful)day!

Spiderjohn said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and Papa Pea too Mama Pea!

LindaCO said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Mama Pea! Here's to the magic of social media!

dr momi said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and Papa Pea...enjoy your quiet day, it sounds wonderful.

Stephanie said...

I hope you and Papa Pea have a fabulous and relaxing Thanksgiving Mama Pea:) We did Thanksgiving yesterday due to my daughter's work schedule.
I have never done Black Friday, preferring to be home with my family (besides I don't buy my kids a lot at the holidays).
I will have most of the weekend to myself, the kids will be gone to their dad's...think I will clean and just enjoy the time:)
Thank you for all you share on your blog, and your wonderful heart, that always encourages me!

Jane said...

Have a happy Thanksgiving in your new kitchen.

Sparkless said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you too Mama and Papa Pea. We don't really have Black Friday up her because our Thanksgiving is in Oct but I see now that some of our Canadian retailers are picking it up and having huge sales. I don't shop when it's crowded. Who needs that aggravation?

Mama Pea said...

Peggy - Thank you!

Sue - I know just what you mean, Sue. We do seem to click on so many levels! (Probably more so if we ever sat down and chatted in person.) Hope you have a nice weather day for the Hanging of the Garlands! Pictures, please?

Spiderjohn - Thanks so much!

LindaCO - I'll drink to that!

dr momi - I sat down to watch a video an hour ago and could. not. stay. awake. So went into my quilt studio and am happily doing some applique there while listening to a book on tape.

Stephanie - I don't shop on Black Friday either. I don't enjoy crowds at all and will leave a store if "too many" people are in there.

I know you love your kids dearly but a weekend without them now and then must seem like a bit of a vacation. Do enjoy yourself.

You know I so admire you for your strength and refusal to let bad things get you down. YOU'RE the one who is encouraging!

Jane - I baked a pumpkin pie (in the new kitchen!) this morning and the aroma it created was 'bout better than anything I've smelled in a long time. Dee-lightful! I am enjoying the kitchen even though I still can't believe it's MINE!

Sparkless - Aggravation is right! I guess I'm not much of a shopper period. I don't even like shopping online and I can't complain about having to fight crowds to do that!

Karen L. said...

And a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family also. Our twosome dinner is over and the bones are simmering as I type this. I do love turkey soup so I bought a small turkey just for that reason. I also don't do Black Friday and never had. I hate to shop on "normal" days. I did have to chuckle while reading this post. Wondered how you "wake up dead"?!?! Thanks for the laugh!

fullfreezer said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I hope you had your peaceful day.

Mama Pea said...

Karen L. - Thinking of your turkey soup, I do think the leftovers from a good, home cooked Thanksgiving Dinner are better than the main meal. I've never understood how people say they get SO TIRED of turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving. Freeze some of the meat, for heaven's sake! :o] And you're welcome for the chuckle.

Judy - I did have my peaceful/no demands day! And it plumb wore me out. Early to bed tonight for this girl.

Leigh said...

Great post. I agree about the holidays being what we make of them and about less stress! That first pic of your kitchen, BTW, looks soooo comfortable and welcoming.

Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

What a wonderful post... I am in full agreement with you on making the day after, heck, the whole season, more relaxing and enjoyable. Happy Turkey Day!h

Dirt Lover said...

Beautiful post! Happy Thanksgiving to you too. I will be home tomorrow, no shopping for this homebody. I promised goodies to a coworker on Monday, so I'll be starting on my holiday baking! Besides, I haven't added to the Black Friday numbers for years.

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - When you completely redo a room, you just never know how it's gonna come out. I am so, so, so pleased that not only do WE feel the kitchen is cozy and inviting, others have used those same words to describe it. Thank you for your kind words!

Ruth - We just need to find that magic wand that will make the holiday season more relaxing and enjoyable. (I'm off to look for it!)

Lori - You're starting your holiday baking today! (Go ahead, make the rest of us feel bad. ;o]) I'm taking down all the fall/Thanksgiving decorations and putting up Christmas. Only four short weeks now until that holiday. Gasp.)

judy said...


RuthieJ said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you Mama Pea. Your celebration of the holiday sounds perfect to me.

Mama Pea said...

judy - Hope your Thanksgiving Day went well. (And that you had help with the cooking!)

RuthieJ - Thanks, it was a good day. Hope yours was, too!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I too am very thankful for the magic of the internet for bringing people together :) Hope you had a wonderful day.

Erin said...

Uh oh, you reminded me too late... I admit I went Black Friday shoppiing... but I went to the CRAFT STORE LOL! (Has something to do with not being home for the holidays this year I think!) Glad you had a nice and relaxing day!

Mama Pea said...

Jen - ESPECIALLY when you lived waaay across the big water in Cairo!

Erin - I think there's some rule that says quilters/sewers CAN shop on Black Friday if it's at a fabric store. ;o]