At our house, Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday. That moment every year when we, in the Midwest see the best parts of nature in the maple trees, all pack into the car for a short drive to a sister or brother’s house, listen to our favorite song (yeah, every year since our kids were young) and sit down to a very special table.
Rationally speaking we could consider Thanksgiving the sum of a family’s to-do lists. So many people invest days to get it right. The satisfaction of a perfect turkey, the memory of the pumpkin bread (recipe from my second grade school teacher), the beautiful table, mashed potatoes made from scratch, a variety of fruit, nut and chocolate pies patiently hoping that someone still has room for the dessert course.
No matter how perfect the setting or the perfect autumn night, there is something much more important: a pause.
The joy that comes from looking around at all the faces: the thought of the year behind us, and the year before that. The new faces – babies, new husbands and girlfriends, the kids grew 6 inches in the past year. The young women who yesterday were adorable little girls and today are preparing to graduate college. We are sad for the moms, dads and others we lost. And while we keep them close in our hearts every day we especially miss them today – some who are the very reason we cherish the Thanksgiving ritual.
Here’s to a pause. To be thankful for the company we keep. For the hugs, for the toasts, and for strengthening traditions.
We are the sum of the lives around our table. I’m especially thankful for the tables we share.