It seems to me that the traditions that go along with a “traditional” Thanksgiving are not actually meant to stress us out, but slow us down. Let me explain (before you fall off your chair laughing)

OurĀ thanksgiving meal is generally quite involved. There are so many different dishes that seem to all magically show up on the table at once. It takes HOURS (read DAYS) of prep, shopping, cooking and presentation. Many of us pull out the china, the silver AND the crystal all to embrace this amazing meal. YES- MEAL.

HOPEFULLY your family, like mine all gathers around a beautiful table, electronics have been silenced and we dedicate an hour or two and excitedly exchange love, thoughts and stories until the food coma begins to take over.

How did we get to the meal to begin with? Easy- we shopped and then lugged it all home to prepare it with love. We peeled, chopped, sauteed, seasoned, baked, boiled and broiled our way into this Normal Rockwell event. At that point EVERYTHING else stopped. We weren’t running around, we weren’t worrying about external things. For the most part it was about taking the time to create this amazing event and sit down with those nearest and dearest to us. We weren’t running to soccer practice, or the bank, or the mall to get a birthday gift. We were preparing with great love food that would invite every single person involved to participate.

THIS is why I love Thanksgiving.

It isn’t just living the Rockwell moment. It is a day for family with no strings. You don’t have to have the perfect gift, decent gravy yes, but not the perfect anything else. It is about taking a few hours- and slowing down a little. It is about peeling potatoes for your daughter who LOVES mashed potatoes, it is about that amazing color that squash when you roast it in the oven. It is about cloth napkins, and taking a moment to look around the table and understand JUST how rich you are. Filthy stinking rich.

There is an exchange at this moment when I experience fatigue from cooking for two days and understand that this has given me just the right amount of openness to take a deep breath as I sit down with my family. There are smiles and noises of joy with familiar flavors and scents of the epic celebratory meal. For me, preparing this meal is an act of love. Much more so than the gifts I will share with my family in a month or so. This no strings attached is simple and sweet. If the green bean casserole isn’t perfect- it’s okay! It becomes a story or a light-hearted moment of teasing later.

THESE are the days my friends- of simplicity, of joy, of just a wonderful meal together. These are the memories that calm my three am moments. That wrap me in a patchwork quilt of memories, that sustain me through the storm. THESE are the most simple, most blessed. most wonder filled.

So. slow down…. enjoy these moments and ask for help with the dishes. These moments are blessed. They are amazing, they are a gift.

grateful for you- blessings and love,