It’s officially Thanksgiving week. This is such an odd year–full of change and, well, oddness. Thanksgiving for my family has been at my parents’ since I can remember. Before, actually. Mom and Dad have long been the anchor for our family and Thanksgiving is the perfect reflection of their role. Because of Mom’s health though we planned last year that I would be in Portland (Boring, actually) for this year and that we’d be hosting the family Thanksgiving at camp. Instead here we are, all under one roof, and so the changes will be less jarring I think. In fact, I’m trying not to make too many changes. Everyone loves Thanksgiving precisely because it is just how it has always been so I’m not planning to mess with it too much.
Family has truly been amazing as this season approaches. There’s been an embarrassment of riches in offers for help from these kind and affectionate people that I usually only see at Thanksgiving. Pretty sure there’s a lesson in there if I look closely.
My sister, Delores, took the week off so we are having fun while we prepare and hopefully keeping thankful hearts too. Today we hit Costco and Fred’s for all our grocery needs. As you can imagine, we were the only ones there. HA! It was crazy at both stores–people everywhere in every state of hurry you can imagine. When we combined the chaos of the stores with Mom’s slower, somewhat confused pace, the stores were a little crazy-making. It was the perfect time for me to practice my new “think this, not that” phrase: “I have all the time I need to accomplish what I need to accomplish.” It totally works. I have long been skeptical of the whole positive self-talk thing. I know it works for athletes and blah blah blah, but I feel like Stuart Smalley whenever I try it. (Say it with me, “I’m good enough; I’m smart enough; and doggone it, people like me.”) But this phrase actually helps me. It helps me because it causes me to take a breath and recognize that I am getting ridiculously impatient over something that will add literally seconds to my time in Costco or Fred Meyer or at the traffic signal or in the kitchen. If the guy needs that parking spot that badly, then he should definitely cut me off and park there. I can be gracious and find another. The perfect chance to practice living generously. It was also the perfect time to be thankful for my sister. I cannot imagine shopping by myself with mom in that chaos and actually accomplishing anything on my list. It really took both of us. And she is indefatigably sweet and cheerful with mom. Truly remarkable.
We got home and my sweet niece, Mistie, met us here to help with preparations. We’ve talked about making this happen for years but this year was the year evidently because we finally did. And she gave me a great cut and color while we worked. How can that be bad?!?
So if you’re keeping track, here’s what we accomplished today:
- groceries purchased? check.
- hair cut and colored? check.
- eggs boiled and prepped for deviling? check.
- bacon vinaigrette made for green beans? check.
- pies baked? check.
- place-cards printed and cut out? check.
- adorable candles holders created by Mistie? check. (I love that the fonts match!)
Since we’re keeping most things the same, I’ve only messed with our table setting. I purchased dishes at Dollar Tree (hard to beat $1 per plate and that way I can have matching dishes for all of us.) I used a printable Thanksgiving suite from Love the Day that is elegant and simple. We’re using the place cards, tying them with beautiful satin ribbon to the backs of the chairs; the cupcake flags on the picks for our appetizers; the Thankful for You cards for guests to write what they’re thankful for; and I copied the cupcake flags to make headers for my menu, grocery list, and to-do list. (It’s always more fun if your list is pretty, right?) I’ll post more photos after the table is set.
In the meantime, here’s the menu:
Appetizers: Glenn really wanted to add these items and I am all for finding ways for this to become his celebration too.
- caprese bites (tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella on a pick)
- prosciutto wrapped asparagus
Dinner: Pretty much none of this is negotiable because everything is someone’s favorite.
- deviled eggs
- autumn chop salad (this is usually just straight up green salad but I like the fruit in it and the nod to the season)
- fruit salad with whipped cream
- cranberry cloud
- Gauntlett dressing
- mashed potatoes
- Cathy’s green beans
- corn (I bought fifteen ears of corn a few weeks ago, cooked them, cut them off the cob and stuck them in the freezer just for this. Yum!)
- sweet potatoes (my fantastic cousin, Linda, is bringing these. This is a new thing too. Mom never wanted anyone to have to bring anything. Me? I say, “Bring it!”)
- cranberry sauce
- Mom’s yeast rolls
Dessert: Believe it or not, I’m cutting back here. Mom usually had multiples of each pie. I’m not exaggerating to say that she usually had at least nine pies.
- apple pie (Linda is bringing this too!)
- berry pie (aka Uncle Jack’s pie.)
- chocolate silk pie
- mincemeat pie (Does anyone else on the planet make this? I’ve never ever heard of anyone else having this.)
- pumpkin pie (Delores is bringing this one.)
- rhubarb pie
If you’re interested in a recipe, tell me in the comments and I’ll be sure to get it for you.
Tomorrow we’ll finish table settings and prep some things to make Thursday super easy and keep Thanksgiving in our hearts.