Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thanksgiving......

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Yes, it gets railroaded by Christmas (stores NEVER have Thanksgiving decorations up- Christmas stuff goes up the day after Halloween!), but still, Thanksgiving is truly a blessed time of year. It's a time to celebrate all of the blessings in our lives. A time to look back on the previous year to all of the things we're really thankful for. A time to be with our families and enjoy a bountiful harvest-even if our harvesting is done at the grocery store. Decorating for Thanksgiving really is easy. I always spare a few pumpkins from the Halloween revelry. The ones I kept this year were home grown in our garden from special seeds brought back from Italy by my mom. They're a beautiful shade of yellow orange. Perfect for our Thanksgiving feast. I also have carried on a tradition from my childhood. Every year we had Thanksgiving at my Grandma Wayment's house. Grandma Wayment was quite an entertainer. She would host many parties year round for her "group". My cousins, sister and I were the lucky ones who helped her set up for these parties. When the holiday's rolled around, we were also the ones who helped set the table. Not only did our Thanksgiving table consist of the fall china (which I use now), but these lovely little candles of pilgrims, Indians and turkeys. She had the Christmas version of these candles, as well as the Halloween, but the Thanksgiving ones were my favorite. How we delighted in setting them up in groups on our table! Unfortunately, in November of 1986, when I was 15 my dear grandma passed away. We didn't get the pilgrims, Indians or Turkeys out that year. I'm not even sure if we used the fall china. It was a sad holiday season. For the next however many Thanksgivings, nobody got out the candles. We just celebrated the occasion without. Through the years people were added and subtracted from our table. Cousins married and had children, additions. I married and had children, big addition. One moved to California, subtraction. Then in 2003, the biggest subtraction occured. My most wonderful dad passed away. He would be sorely missed at our table that year. The head of the table was empty. Through my grief, I experienced an awakening. I was going to revisit some of the joys of my childhood and pass them on to my own children. It was time to take my place as a grownup in my family, not just one of the kids. The next Thanksgiving I wanted to hold at my new house, with some new traditions, some old. I started planning the celebration early in November. It was a whirlwind of cleaning, buying, arraigning. I called my mom in a panic! She offered to come and help, and I breathed a sigh of relief. When she arrived, she had a few heavy boxes. What was this? What had she brought? My mother had rescued my grandma's fall china! It was headed for goodwill when I saw it last. My grandmothers house was cleaned out. Not much was saved. But my mom with her wisdom had saved it all. With service for 20 (!), all the pieces were accounted for. I was so grateful for the gift, I almost didn't notice the other items wrapped in the bottom. They weren't the original, I knew they had been lost, but I could tell right away what they were. A set of pilgrim candles and two little turkeys to match! Ebay-my mom said to me as I gave her a hug, and now Thanksgiving could begin. That year was a great mix of old and new traditions, as have been all of our Thanksgivings since. It doesn't really matter what we celebrate, just as long as we're together........

My Pilgrim and Turkey candles....