If you are like me and so many other Americans in this country, you will be spending a bit of time surrounded by lots of family (for better or worse) in the very near future. Since Thanksgiving is not adorned with loads of decorations and gift giving, I always think it is nice to somehow bring a touch of specialness to the occasion (as if all that yummy food wasn’t special enough). So today’s Spark is all about ways to help you, your family and your friends show their gratitude in some fun and creative ways. Happy Thanksgiving!
What a crazy fall it has been! Hmm, that sounds familiar, because I believe I echo that same sentiment every year about this time. We ramp up around here in October for our son’s birthday and then barrel on through Halloween and into Thanksgiving before decking the halls for Christmas. If we add the end of daylight savings into the mix with all the seriously gray days here in the Midwest, it makes a mama feel like she is wading through really thick mud! Thankfully we woke up to the glorious, long absent sun shining on us today, which helps me tolerate the wind that blew in with it.
So with all the endless putting up and taking down of decorations that accompany our autumns at the Three Acre Wood, I have decided to claim my new favorite holiday as Thanksgiving. Now don’t get me wrong, I do love to decorate for Halloween, dress up our child and hit the houses for tricks or treats and I also love the hustle and bustle of Christmas with all its holly, lights and gift giving; but I have begun to seriously appreciate the calm that comes between October and December.
Thanksgiving is just one of those holidays that is a good return on investment. You get to visit family, eat loads of delicious food and maybe even take in a movie, do a bit of shopping or play a friendly football game in the cow pasture (okay, so not everyone has a cow pasture for playing, but any old yard or park will do). There are no presents to purchase and no packages to wrap; just bring a dish or two (yes, I’ll be making Nannie’s pecan pie), wear something with elastic, show up with a smile and plan to stay awhile. There’s no need to make multiple trips to the attic ahead of time, because decorations are minimal with a few hand turkeys here and some multi-colored leaves there. You might even get to eat on the fancy dishes and actually use that gravy boat that has been gathering dust since this time last year.
You just can’t beat a turkey coloring tablecloth and a huge jar of olives!
There’s always something for the kids (and grownups) to enjoy, like this turkey craft kit.
One never knows when the aunts might show up sporting all their craziness!
Thanksgiving, by design, is meant to give us a day to pause and reflect on all our blessings, to give thanks for our family and friends and for all that gives our lives some meaning. It is a time for remembrance and appreciation and a time for laughter and warmth. For me, Thanksgiving is the calm that comes between October and December and the restoration that comes before the scurry and hurry of the grand daddy of all holidays. It is a day to refocus on what really matters and a day to appreciate everyone in our lives.
So to all my family and friends, I thank the Lord for your presence in my life. I am truly blessed!
I would like to take a few moments to thank you, the readers of Small Talk Mama, for following me and my family in our daily lives of DIY, celebrations, family matters and silly stuff. I truly enjoy writing about all our adventures, but knowing that I might just touch a chord in someone else’s life makes what I do so much more fulfilling. I appreciate all your comments and well-wishes, and enjoy sharing even a sliver of my life with you.
Speaking of sliver, that makes me think of pie! And since today’s Thanksgiving feast will most probably end with pie, let’s start the day with a few words of thanks. Now if I just started rattling off all the people and things for which I’m thankful, we could be here all day; instead, I’m answering Mama Kat’s “So Very Thankful YouTube Tags” for a fun and light-hearted twist on gratitude. My answers are listed below, but please feel free to play along.
1. Name a color you are thankful for.
Pink. While I haven’t ever claimed this as my favorite color, I’m quickly becoming fond of a really pastel version of this color. It makes me feel young and peaceful.
2. Something your spouse does that you are thankful for.
Doing DIY projects with me. We are in the midst of what was to be a “simple” kitchen project; and although he may shake his head at times, he mostly just does what I ask for as long as it takes. Thank you, honey!
3. Something your kids do that you are thankful for.
Enjoying school. Our little guy started kindergarten this year, and he loves to learn. I do realize the social aspect is the big draw for him, but at least the learning is a plus.
4. A food you are thankful for.
Since today is Thanksgiving, I’m going to say turkey. I love turkey! I’ve started buying freshly sliced roasted turkey in the deli section so that I can skip the added nitrates and preservatives. I seriously can make a meal of that stuff!
5. What recent good news are you thankful for?
I can renew my teaching certificate as soon as my completed college course grade is posted. This means I can return to the classroom next year.
6. Name a drink you are thankful for.
San Pellegrino sparkling water. I love the combination of healthy water with fizzy bubbles that tickle my tongue.
7. Name a restaurant you are thankful for.
My son and I love Chic-fil-A! We can both get a tasty meal (I love their spicy southwest chicken salad) and he gets to run off some steam in the playroom. As for the germs, I should probably buy stock in those little supplied wet wipes.
8. Talk about an animal you are thankful for.
I’m thankful for being able to enjoy our recently deceased goldfish, Spike, for over twelve years. It was such a sad day when we lost him earlier this year. He was originally purchased to be catfish bait, but after we saved him from the lake, with his black mustache and mohawk, he quickly became a member of the family.
9. Name a beauty product you are thankful for.
Natural apricot oil. It has no added bad stuff and it’s great for moisturizing the entire body and removing eye makeup. I buy mine at Sprouts.
10. Name a cleaning product you are thankful for.
Norwex cleaning cloths. Using these cloths have allowed me to eliminate most harmful cleaning products from our home. My husband will roll his eyes, but at least mine aren’t watering on house cleaning day.
11. What social media platform are you thankful for?
Instagram. I love photography, so this platform is perfect for a special collection of pictures.
12. Tell us why you are thankful for the last person who texted you.
That would be my husband. I’m thankful that he knows I don’t always check my phone on a regular basis and that I may not see or respond to a text in an at all timely manner.
13. Name a candy you are thankful for.
Peanut Clusters, especially the homemade variety. I love the simple combination of peanuts, chocolate and nothing else.
14. Name an app on your phone that you are thankful for.
Meetup. Without this app I wouldn’t be able to get to many of my MOMS Club destinations in a timely manner. . . or even remember I was supposed to go.
15. What are you looking forward to that you are thankful for?
I’m looking forward to finally cleaning out all the nooks and crannies of this house. We have lived here for over four years and I swear our storage room still looks like we just moved in; so after the new year, I’m cleaning up and clearing out loads of this stuff.