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This is our final screed until Monday. I’m going to enjoy the Thanksgiving break and hope you can do so as well. The post below was written the day prior to Thanksgiving in 2008. It’s still very appropriate, whether your gathering is 20+ people like ours, or just 4 of you enjoying the day and one another. It’s not the size of the family (everyone who comes is family to me!) that matters or even if some members are missing. It’s giving thanks for what you have and sharing the day with some people who matter to you. Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is a lot of work in my house – maybe in yours as well. If you’ve been reading along, you know that the menu planning, shopping, and prep work has been going on for several days and today (Wednesday) is the biggest of the prep days. Tomorrow is focused on bringing all the pieces together, hopefully at the same time, and entertaining the horde that will descend. I like to think of those pieces as the three “F”s. It’s also important to take a few seconds and reflect on them. What? You thought I meant the various dishes we’ve been wrangling up here? Nope!
- “F” number one is Family. It’s the thing for which I am most thankful and the thing that has literally saved my life over this past year as I’ve made some pretty big life changes. Having them here at this holiday is a labor of love and I hope they’ll all keep showing up for many years more.
- “F” number two is Feasting. We do ask everyone to bring something – an appetizer, wine, or a dessert, usually. Obviously it’s not because it lightens the work load very much but because it makes them a part of the process. It’s OUR meal as a family and our shared celebration. The word “feast” comes from the same root as “festival” (yes, it’s also the same root Seinfeld used for “Festivus“) and we try to make it one. All those days of prep come together in a 45 minute orgy of eating. This holiday is very much like Christmas or Hanukah in that way – you prepare for quite a long time and then it’s over way too quickly.
- “F” number three is Football. This is America’s national sport and we’re very much a sports-oriented group. I’ll never forget my Uncle Harry who would sit with us every year and watch the games. “I don’t understand,” he would say, “they all fall down, they all get up, they do it again. What kind of game is this?” It could be paint drying – the point is that it’s a family ritual and through it we bond.
Hopefully those three pieces come together tomorrow in your house or wherever you’ll be as well. Enjoy them!