November, 2016 – A Day for Thanks – and Giving

November, 2016 – A Day for Thanks – and Giving

O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!   –  Psalm 30.12b

Thanksgiving season is upon us once again.  I love Thanksgiving Day!  What a great time to be with family and friends and eat waaaaay too much.  Growing up in Codyville, and then Princeton, Maine, I will never forget the scrumptious aromas coming from the kitchen.  Mama and Daddy did all the cooking and preparations themselves.  I guess it was easier for them without the four of us kids underfoot.  But, oh! – the mouth-watering, succulent smells of the turkey and all the fixings, and pies wafting in through to the living room were almost more than we could bear.

Well, I grew up – had my own family, and changed very little of what my parents did for the holiday.  Instead of breakfast, though, I would set my kitchen table with an array of snack foods.  It was the one day my boys were allowed to snack for most of a day.  They knew, though, that the cut-off time for snacking was a couple of hours before we sat down to our Thanksgivingfeast.  The table was always covered with a hand-made cloth from Italy.  It had belonged to my husband’s father’s family.  There were always candles and decorations – and best of all, yummy breads.  My boys’ favorite was cranberry-nut-pumpkin bread.  They could have all the cheese and crackers they wanted, pickles, chips and dips, fresh veggies and fruits and more.  It was their kind of day!   But the Thanksgiving dinner was just like my parents did it.  I still make cole slaw the same.  Stuffing is just like theirs.  And for sure all the traditional holiday pies – just like Mama’s!  There is no way that I could have improved on them.  Everything was just the best!

Our Thanksgiving Day did change from year to year, though.  At times, we went home to Maine to my parents; there were times when we didn’t know who would be with us, or if it would be just the ‘five of us’.  There was one time when we headed for Maine, but running into a blizzard in northern Massachusetts, had to turn around and come back home.  May I add that it was to a cold house – and not one bit of food representing Thanksgiving.  That’s when the calls began to see if there was a restaurant – any restaurant open so could make the day somehow a bit special.  Thankfully, there was a small quaint restaurant open in So. Easton not far from our home who took us with no reservations.  It was wonderful!    And that was our Thanksgiving-family-day that year.

Many years, we would spend a good part of our Thanksgiving Day at arescue mission or a church that served meals to the homeless in Providence, RI.  It was important to me that my boys not only knew that not everyone in this world was as blessed as they, but also, that they knew the importance of ‘serving’.  It wasn’t about taking and receiving, but being Jesus’ hands and feet to others who were in need.  It was also important to me to have a Thanksgiving dinner with my family on those times.  So, upon leaving the shelter, we always came home to our dinner and a time of family celebration.  It was always a great day!

After my boys married and left home, Thanksgiving Day changed, again.  It is quite different for me from year to year.  One thing I know for sure, though, is that I want it to be a day of not only being filled with thanksgiving for all that my Lord has done for me, but I want it, somehow, to be a day spent in service to someone else.  If this has not regularly been a part of your Day of Thanks, just try asking God for a unique, out-of-the-box way to be of service to someone, somehow this Thanksgiving Day.  I know for me that it truly is ‘more blessed to give than to receive’. Acts 20.35b2afbc0e7368d25571f0ec1d851445200