Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving food and giving thanks

The Holiday season begins for me when Autumn is in full color.  For that is when I sense the magic (Narnia magic, you know) that God allows for us in this fallen of worlds.

One cannot be surrounded by leaves on the trees and a carpet on the ground in various shades of red, gold, yellow, chartreuse, orange, and green without one's mind thinking it is quite amazing.

From that week until the New Year, I find myself living in another world.  Oh, there are some years I admit that I just want the calendar to skip from October to the frigid month of January.  Those have been the years of crushing loss or disappointments, far more than one thinks the soul can handle. 

In those years I have usually tied on an apron, played the Christmas music, and put on a smile as a form of spiritual warfare to show the enemy he will not win.  Perhaps a battle here and there... but not the war.

So once most of the leaves have been raked and moved to the forest in the wheelbarrow, it is time for Thanksgiving.  This year, I have already made a list and checked it twice.  Actually, checking it twice is the first thing on the list!

Thanksgiving is the perfect Holiday for the foodie in us.  It is all about tradition (even if it means the beginning of new traditions), and family (even if family is your circle of friends), and... food.

There have been many changes in eating habits over the years.  For instance, I still smile when I see pink Himalayan sea salt on the shelf and jars of kimchee in the produce section of my Midwestern grocery store.

But on Thanksgiving for most of us... it is all about the food from our childhood.

We were blessed two or three years ago to begin the new tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving with our daughter-in-law's family.  We love them as if they were truly family.  So once again this year, I am making the traditional turkey meal with everyone else bringing additional side dishes and desserts.

I am well aware that it is a blessing to have one child living near us.  There may come a day when Mr. & Mrs. Christopher move elsewhere to follow his career but for now we enjoy them living close.  And think of our family in New England as they celebrate traditional Thanksgiving, which I am certain will contain a touch of Italian influence.

After Thanksgiving, the boxes containing the look of Christmas will be brought into the house from the garage.   With Thanksgiving  being late in November this year, I was almost tempted to begin the decorating early but decided against it.  Instead I have been listening to Christmas music on CD and Pandora and watching Christmas movies on TV and DVD.

This year I am thoroughly into Christmas, unlike the blah seasons of the past few years.  The Empty Nest Syndrome is behind me and the next season of life has now squiggled around a bit and fluffed up some pillows and made itself comfortable.  It took awhile.

I don't know why but this Season I feel the need to celebrate.  To decorate with all the beloved items and ornaments.  To cook and bake.  To read His Word each morning by the light of the Christmas Tree.  I am looking forward to all of it.

What has changed?  Well, not the circumstances as chronic illness and limited income continue to be challenging.  But this year there is more joy and ummm... hope.  It is my attitude that has changed quite definitely.  For that is, when you think of it, the gift we can give ourselves.  

So meet the Season head on with grace and candles and hot beverages and a good food and your favorite Christmas music and some wonderful books of the Season and a movie or two and most of all... time spent talking to the Birthday Boy.  For that is the gift He desires from you.


Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

What a cheery and wonderful post! I am so happy you are in celebration mode! Me, too! I think that even though we all have challenges and struggles, the real reason we celebrate never changes!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day and then setting out all your Christmas decor! My girl comes home tonight!

So excited!


Anonymous said...

So glad you have having Thanksgiving with family and lots of good things to eat. Loved this post as always--such a wonderful way with words. Blessings to you and your family this holiday season. Sharon D.

Judy said...

Thank you for the reminder to "meet the Season head on with grace..." Truth be told, this is one of those year's where it all feels very heavy for me. I am reading Tozer and seeking to be lost in the wonder of Jesus birth - but the decoration and meal planning part, I'd really rather run away from it! Instead I will begin...and pray my heart follows.
Happy Thanksgiving, Brenda.

Vee said...

Hope is a powerful thing. This post made me smile from ear to ear. Perhaps I need to set aside the news of the day and put on some Christmas music. A blessed Thanksgiving week to you, dear Brenda.

lynneinMN said...

Thank You. "Talking to the Birthday Boy", is right on. A very Blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours...you Bless me in your blog always :-). Lynne in MN

Terra said...

I like the picture I imagine of you putting on your apron and a smile as your armor. Recent sermons at our church are about putting on the armor of God every day. Narnia magic is welcome in the cold months.

Nanna Chel said...

Brenda, I have been thinking lately about the difference between happiness and joy. We can have that deep down joy in the Lord despite our circumstances which are quite often not happy ones. I am pleased you are content and enjoying the current season. I wish we had Thanksgiving here in Australia. I think it is such a great celebration.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Your increased hope and happiness is quite infectious.......I'm feeling rather similar with my daughter's family having moved back to only minutes away from us. Our Thanksgiving will be a great joy! And all the Christmas season, too!
I need to gather all my Christmas music soon, and the books I look at during Advent........Thank you for the extra encouragement, Brenda!

Laurie said...

Thank you for this post. I admit some years I just don't feel the joy the season brings. Since my mom passed away I feel the loss that much more during the holidays.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! I just began a thankful journal for the next month, and I'm so thankful for your blog! Love your custom of talking to the "Birthday Boy" by the light of the Christmas tree! I always wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas, as well. Somehow it seems like Thanksgiving gets lost when Christmas decorations go up so early. Looking forward to having both our kids and spouses (one is a newlywed) for our Thanksgiving dinner. It's been a long time coming! And although my dear Momma has been gone for six years now, I'm missing her more this year, so I decided to use her good china for our dinner. Maybe it'll become a new tradition!
Blessings to you and yours,
Laura C. from WA

PJ Geek said...

Cozy and real post. Last year I had 2 pets pass within weeks of each other and it was hard to listen to Christmas music, especially the sad ones. This year , so far, is better just because of attitude. God bless you.