It's Not About the Meal

There's a trend that happens in the month of November. People are sharing (on social media) something they're grateful for every day of the month.

I've heard the arguments that everyone should just be grateful all the time and not just as a "trendy meme" for the month that the Thanksgiving holiday falls on. I guess that's true. But I like it. I like anything that makes us stop and think of just how much we all have to be grateful for. As trendy memes go, I think this is a good one.

Around here we've had a bustle of activity because we're expecting 32 people for dinner tomorrow.

For me that means decorating and planning and making room in my freakishly small cottage-like home for all these friends and loved ones. That means Eric and Jonathan are moving furniture and hauling in tables and making sure there's a place for every single person.

My sisters, Ofie, Helen, and Alina are doing the cooking this year.

Lucy is my Stage Manager and Amy is my Set Designer as I take up the position of Creative Director. I have lists and sketches and a timeline. And we are all working shoulder to shoulder to make sure that we pull off this shindig with as few glitches as possible. (Of course, that's not always possible, see this post., but that's not important right now.)

Thanksgiving chalkboard menu

I have been working on the creative touches (like the chalkboard menu) that I hope will surprise and delight my guests. We're setting up a photo booth as we do every year. This is what that will look like.

And our dinner, as you can see on the menu board will be pretty traditional, but it's not about the food.

I'm grateful for the creative time spent today and tomorrow with my people as we pull together to make this big gratitude party happen.

I'm grateful for the delicious gift of their enthusiasm and abilities.

I'm grateful that my extended family and close friends will be with us tomorrow to share the day.

I'm grateful that my mom will be here for her 99th Thanksgiving. Although, technically, we didn't really celebrate Thanksgiving until 1961, but you know what I mean.

Speaking of 1961, those were dark and difficult days for us. Our family, like many others had been separated by the growing threat of communism on our island home. My dad had left the country a few months before and we weren't sure we'd be reunited. See this post.

So my gratitude must always include the fact that we will be together. Like the Pilgrims before us, we are grateful for this great land that gave us a place to survive and thrive. The meal is secondary. The main event is the coming together to break bread and to share our home and our food and even our talents. The focus will be the laughter and the sharing and the warm smiles of those we love best.

That we get to eat an amazing turkey dinner as we do all this is just, well...gravy.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.