I’ve had a version of this post knocking around in my brain since Tuesday. I spent most of that day prepping the food we’ll be sharing with Katie and her family this afternoon. Much of this year’s menu is new-to-us (Thanksgiving dinner is, for us, not about traditional dishes, and still, all about good food); the only thing I’m making for “not the first time” is cranberry sauce. Thanks to Sara’s great notes
it turned out perfectly (also, the new not-a-le-creuset has now cooked a lot more than popcorn!)
Before I started cooking, I printed out this year’s menuand all the new recipes. I made notes as I cookedand eventually, placed those pages into sleeve protectors and added them to The Notebook.
…along the way, I had a very fun time revisiting menus and notes from previous years. 2008 will always be a favorite (Katie was in college, and Sara was a junior in high school!)
because of this photo … Thanksgiving morning – 2008
I’ve blogged this photo at least three times before … it’s still a favorite. especially because Sara is in England today.
Another favorite from the notebook is this pagefrom 2016. apparently I never even blogged about that year … Katie set a lovely table with Charlie’s handprints for place cards. I marvel at that … Sam was four weeks old that Thanksgiving!
We are so fortunate to have Katie and her family close by and in our bubble. This afternoon, we will be sitting down to a Thanksgiving meal that won’t look much different from last year. and it felt weird to share anything about it. especially since so many will be spending Thanksgiving without families or friends. It’s easy to feel thankful when it looks like everything is going well.
Diana Butler Bass shared this prayer today and it helped me reframe the gratitude. as a choice.
GOD, there are days we do not feel grateful. When we are anxious or angry. When we feel alone. When we do not understand what is happening in the world or with our neighbors. When the news is bleak, confusing. God, we struggle to feel grateful.
But this Thanksgiving, we choose gratitude.
We choose to accept life as a gift from you, and as a gift from the unfolding work of all creation.
We choose to be grateful for the earth from which our food comes; for the water that gives life; and for the air we all breathe.
We choose to thank our ancestors, those who came before us, grateful for their stories and struggles, and we receive their wisdom as a continuing gift for today.
We choose to see our families and friends with new eyes, appreciating and accepting them for who they are. We are thankful for our homes, whether humble or grand.
We will be grateful for our neighbors, no matter how they voted, whatever our differences, or how much we feel hurt or misunderstood by them.
We choose to see the whole planet as our shared commons, the stage of the future of humankind and creation.
God, this Thanksgiving, we do not give thanks. We choose it. We will make this choice of thanks with courageous hearts, knowing that it is humbling to say “thank you.” We choose to see your sacred generosity, aware that we live in an infinite circle of gratitude. That we all are guests at a hospitable table around which gifts are passed and received. We will not let anything opposed to love take over this table. Instead, we embrace grace, free and unmerited love, the giftedness of life everywhere. In this choosing, and in the making, we will pass gratitude onto the world.
Thus, with you, and with all those gathered at this table, we pledge to make thanks. We ask you to strengthen us in this resolve. Here, now, and into the future. Around our family table. Around the table of our nation. Around the table of the earth.
We choose thanks.
Of course Thankschoosing doesn’t roll off the tongue quite so easily does it 😉 Still, it’s a powerful reframing. Today, I choose …. love, kindness, family, and thanks.