Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Be Thankful

Dear Lauren,

Wow, November was TOUGH! But I made it through it. Thank God for great doctors and for my family and friends. Thank God for texting! Dad was amazing and I know the stress on him was incredible, so Thank God for Dad! Anyway, for now things are good and I'm thankful.

I thought I'd talk about Thanksgiving today before we get into Christmas later this week.

According to you, Thanksgiving 2012 was perfect.That surprised me. In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, I was feeling a little low because I thought this might be a boring Thanksgiving for you and Shelby since we had no family or friends joining us. Dad and I planned it that way because I've been so sick and Dad wanted to put as little stress on me as possible. He planned to cook the entire dinner so I don't know what stress he meant! But nevertheless, his heart, as always, was in the right place. Anyway, I was really surprised when you announces this was the perfect Thanksgiving. No one to entertain, relax and enjoy the day, the traditional meal with our favorites and that's that. Shelby agreed. Duly noted.

We planned the meal together with everyone listing their favorites and of course you listed the same two things you've listed since you learned to speak - mashed potatoes and rolls. Shelby wanted green bean casserole. Yes, the kind with the canned soup! Yes, we try to talk her into homemade recipes every year and she won't have it! Dad loves dressing and he made three difference kinds of it - vegan, sourdough, and cornbread. Oh, and giblet gravy - he loves it. I love turkey and cranberry sauce. And I really wanted a Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella I saw from Alton Brown! So our meal was simple.

But I want to write to you about parts of Thanksgiving 2011. Because I love having guests and you know this. And you might have guests of your own one day when you serve your Thanksgiving meal (can you imagine a meal that you cook and Dad and I don't?) and who knows, you might use some of these ideas.

Sure, you can put out a plastic table cloth and Kraft paper and crayons at the table for children. They'll love it. But so do adults. They drew turkeys with their hands. They wrote messages. They laughed while they did it. I didn't use the china this year because the white Pottery Barn Caterer's Dinnerware that we use every day seemed to fit the occasion better. But you never know, I might use the china and silver and crystal with the crayons another year. It's good to mix things up.

And 2011 was definitely the year of Jalapeno Cheetos for Dad.  So they found their way into the mix of appetizers. It made him smile. It made all of us smile.

This is the Fake Eyelash table.

This is the Make Your Own Car Wreath table.

This is the T-Shirt Table. (Most popular - Spike the Punch.)

This is the Party Favor Bowl. (Those giant lighters for the guys and mercury glass votive candle holders for the ladies.)

The Door Greeter.

Haha! You actually told me you were upset that Turkey was not out this year! Sorry! He'll be back next year and every year after from now on!

My point in all of this is that whichever type of Thanksgiving is your favorite, full of family and friends, many different foods and fun, or a more simple day with just your close loved ones, be thankful, and have a beautiful day.


P.S. I asked my friends and family to text me hearts while I was so sick. Well, they did. And messages, and jokes, and whole letters! And they sent them continually all month. I am so grateful. There's a quote about friends and illness. I can't remember it exactly. It says something like, you realize who your friends are when you get sick...some really step up and some step back and it may surprise you who fits into those groups. While I wouldn't ever, ever wish you to be sick, I did find this quote to be true and so I'm thankful for the illness because of it!

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