Whether you’re in a part of the world that celebrates Thanksgiving or not, we want to say how grateful we are for you, our View from the Front Porch readers. Chicken Wrangler and I truly appreciate the time you take to leave your comments.
Thank you for hanging out with us these many years.
We’re recovering from our own overeating yesterday and have taken today off.
We’ve decided to reduce our stress this year and, in December, we will begin a countdown to the number one viewed blogs from Miller Farm Friday and the Front Porch in 2019. I think you’ll find which blog posts drew the most views interesting. We did.
Our children are married with families of their own and some of their children are married so our attendee number for holidays varies every year.
This Thanksgiving we were only missing the members living out-of-state. The rest of the clan – all seventeen of them – arrived with their traditional offerings to share.
Daughter #2 served as hostess and prepared a Pioneer Woman brine turkey that was moist and tasty and the dressing and homemade cranberry sauce. Her traditional chess pies were baked this year by her step-daughter. Tradition remained though the cook varied. As she said, “it’s good to pass the torch.”
Daughter #1 brought pecan-crusted sweet potatoes and a bag full of yummy baked goods like cranberry orange bread, enough for all to carry home. And, a can of jellied cranberry, a husband’s favorite.
One Aunt brought deviled eggs and brown-and-serve rolls, her annual contributions. She served the eggs on a special egg dish of another gone-to-glory aunt. We felt her presence, smiling down from heaven.
Another Aunt brought her special recipe cheese ball. This was the first Thanksgiving she and her husband weren’t together in their fifty years together. His Parkinson kept him at his Memory Care home. The beginning of new tradition, we’re hoping.
Granddaughter #1 brought her husband’s family tradition – a pound cake made by his grandmother’s recipe. A new tradition, we all agreed when she and hubby join our festivities. Newly married, they alternate holidays between their families. We had them this Thanksgiving.
Step-daughter’s mom joined in with homemade mash potatoes that were creamy and smooth. We’re counting on a repeat performance for next year’s Thanksgiving feast.
I contributed the scalloped corn and the classic green bean casserole and an orange pineapple jello salad no one has eaten since they were toddlers. I can’t seem to stop myself
A vintage 1950s fall tablecloth covered one of the tables. A remnant from family or a prize antique shop purchase, no one remembers. It’s just always been around along with the honeycomb tissue paper turkey in the center of the table.
Pepa carved the bird and grandchildren lined up for first tastes of slices from the carver himself. We all know nothing tastes better.
The football game played on the very large screen TV. Grandsons and Pepa cheered their team to victory.
The granddogs, banished to the bedroom, quietly wondered at all the commotion and Auntie’s dog, who came along, relished the pats and extra laps.
All in all a lovely day filled with traditions that remind me of Tevye’s words in the song from Fiddler on the Roof.
“Tradition. Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as… as a fiddler on the roof!”
But I was also reminded Thanksgiving traditions, while lovely and touching, aren’t based on the things on the table or around the table but in the love that surrounds us.
Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. The day to think about all the things we are thankful for. You, our readers, are top of the thankful list for Chicken Wrangler Sara and me. We offer this Irish blessing for you and yours.
I know blogging about thankfulness and gratitude in November is cliché, but what better time to focus our thoughts on thankfulness and gratitude.
After all, we do celebrate Thanksgiving Day in America this month.
Too often, though, our attention on thankfulness is missing for the rest of the year.
Being grateful is a choice. If you’ve lived most of your life NOT focusing on gratitude, it’s not so simple to change that perspective.
Here are two ways to help you cultivate an attitude of thankfulness beyond one Thursday in November.
Keep a thankful list.
It’s sometimes hard to write down things that you’re thankful for, especially on those terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad days, but over time the act of physically writing out a daily list can produce an grateful attitude.
Start your list with simple things like a bed to sleep in. A house that keeps you dry and warm. The sunrise/sunset. If you look around you, there is so much to be thankful for.
If writing out a list isn’t for you, you could try grateful beads. That’s what I use.
My grateful bead string has ten beads to help recall things to be thankful for. Three beads for three people who touch your life. Six beads for six things, events, and occurrences and the final bead to remind you to give thanks to your creator.
You can find beads like mine here or do a search online for grateful beads. There are many options.
Share thankfulness on social media
We are a plugged-in culture, which makes it next to impossible to avoid social media altogether no matter how hard we might try. Social media sites are filled with an abundance of thoughts and images of wars, earthquakes, floods, fires, sick children, murdered spouses and, lately, politics.
By sharing positive, uplifting posts, memes, and videos instead of those, you encourage attitudes of thankfulness in yourself and others.
Give these two ideas a try, I think you’ll find an attitude of gratitude grows the more you use it.
The traditional New York City’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade started in 1924. Our family tradition is to watch while we unpack Christmas decorations. Truthfully, we tend to spent more time watching than decorating and no one misses Santa’s arrival.
After filling their bellies with turkey and all the trimmings, the menfolk, and most of the women, around our house gather in front of the TV for football. The National Football League has been broadcasting Thanksgiving Day games since 1920. Our family’s been watching games since the sixties.
Down here in Texas, the Thanksgiving Day collegiate games are often more important than the professional football games. Our own meal time centers around the University of Texas Longhorns’ schedule for the day.
None of these things happened on that first Pilgrim Thanksgiving in 1621, but the basis for our modern Thanksgiving festivites remains the same. We pause on this day to give thanks for our blessings.
When my turn comes to share my blessings this year, I will include
Thanksgiving arrives on Thursday making this week filled with family reunions, food, fun, travel, football games, Black Friday, and being thankful.
Not necessarily in that order.
The way we celebrate things today is quite different from how Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving feasts.
Historically, Pilgrims in The Commonwealth of Virginia held Thanksgiving services beginning in 1607. Days of prayer, not days of feasting, but services deeply grounded in religious beliefs and gratitude to their Heavenly Father.
Thanksgiving to them was a religious holiday in which they would go to church and thank God for a specific event. The activities that autumn of 1621 – dancing, singing secular songs, playing games – wouldn’t have been allowed. Not religious. The feast was a secular celebration, so it never would have been considered a thanksgiving in the pilgrims’ minds.
Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation for a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” established what we do today.
Interesting that the basis for our celebration remained the same as the early colonist feasts – thankfulness.
As you go about the preparations this week, spend some time thinking about the origins of the holiday and all the reasons you have to be thankful.