Simple Pleasures of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a mere 10 days away. What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Most people think of turkey and the massive feast that accompanies it. They think of football, the Macy’s parade and Christmas sales.

Yesterday while in the produce department, I easily heard the conversation of two misguided people. Their parting statements left me stunned by the sweet potatoes, “Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, I can’t wait until it is over!” “Me TOO!”

Why? Why would you want a day devoted to thankfulness, fellowship and eating to be gone and done with? To many, Thanksgiving is an incredible amount of work and possibly a lonely time without the nearness of those they love. In the midst of your own celebrations, remember those who may be alone.

Set an Extra Plate

This simple pleasure is all about being charitable. It is wonderful if you send a check to your local rescue mission or donate a bag of non-perishable food to your local food bank, but I encourage you to go a bit farther. Be charitable with your time, your food and the space at your table.

During the holidays our to-do list can be so overwhelming that we are unable to see past it. However, the best way to get a clear perspective of what else is important is to take your eyes off of it. Look outside your own little world. Notice your lonely neighbor. Remember those in nursing homes or hospitals. Think about the friends who must work and those we don’t know but depend on such as firemen and police officers.

Is there someone you can invite to dinner? Is there someone who needs you to bring them a plate of food? Can you drop off some snacks at the nearest firehouse,

Thanksgiving, the perfect holiday to recall all that we are thankful for and the perfect time to spread simple pleasures. In the end you may have given away your time, food and effort but you will have gained joy and satisfaction.

Celebrate Friendsgiving

Friends are truly something to be thankful for. Close friends and life-long friends are rare blessings. Take time this holiday season to celebrate with those you call “friend.”

Choose a day not too near Thanksgiving and gather your friends for food and fellowship. It’s a terrific opportunity to host a pitch-in. There’s no need to prepare traditional Thanksgiving fare, keep it simple.

Last week we were invited to a “Friendsgiving” celebration. A young couple who have been friends with our son and our family since they were kids included us in their dinner. My husband and I were the only ones over 30. (way over 30) We were so delighted to be included in this time that they set aside to just enjoy their friends

Our hostess is a young mom, college student and works full time. After an unfortunate episode with some spilled cheerios and stressful assignment deadlines, the turkey did not make it in the oven. Instead turkey sliders and a ready made rotisserie chicken were more than acceptable and a yummy substitute. Let yourself off the hook and give yourself a break.

I remembered the beginning days of my married life as we brought camp chairs into their sparse living room. Friends piled on the sofa as their toddler brought enjoyment to everyone. The guitar came out along with memories and laughter. It was simple yet produced grand enjoyment.

Our family loves Winnie the PoohSeasons of Giving. This delightful cartoon has poignant lessons to teach children and adults alike. In this 1999 video our favorite Hundred Acre Wood characters plan a “Friendsgiving” celebration. Rabbit goes overboard trying to make everything perfect. After much mess and adventure they all find out that what really matters is not the food or the decorations but the friends around their table. “For of all the things they had or ever might have, the grandest of all was the gift of friendship.”

Christopher Robin: “Pooh, what are you thankful for?” Pooh: “Why, nothing short of everything, but most of all I am thankful for the company of friends.”

Create Pilgrim crafts

Spread your fingers open upon a sheet of construction paper and trace around them. Voila, a turkey! Remembering the simple crafts of our childhood fills us with warm memories and an eagerness to share them with a new generation. Pinterest has elevated our autumn craft aspirations, but simple and easy are two very welcoming words. Keep it simple and enjoy the nostalgia of handprint turkeys and pilgrim hats.

                                                                            My Daughter-in-law and Granddaughter

Children may enjoy tracing their handprints and turning them into turkeys, but I confess, I enjoy it too. It only takes a brown piece of construction paper to melt away 50 years and I am once again in Bonanza school in Las Vegas Nevada. We would trace our handprints and cut out feathers to glue on the fingers. I still love these turkeys today.

Have a craft afternoon for your kids, grandkids or just yourself. In today’s culture once Halloween is past we move on to Christmas.  I do confess that I’m already listening to Christmas music but I don’t want Thanksgiving to disappear. Do something simple to keep the nostalgia of this holiday alive.

Search for the Simple

As you rush through each day during this busy holiday season, be sure to search for the simple. Once you begin, you won’t want to stop and you will find delightful, simple surprises all around you.

And remember what Pooh and his friends sang, “Friends, near and far away, sharing our today, gathering to say we’re thankful. Friends, friends in every way, make each and every day, our Thanksgiving day.”

 

 

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