We decided to celebrate Thanksgiving this year with our daughter, Sheryl, and her 12-year-old twin sons, Chris and Nick. The boys have had a rough year and wanted to have a quiet Thanksgiving in their own apartment with just their mom and my husband, Stan, and I. That decision was easy, then Sheryl called to talk about food while Stan and I were shopping in Costco. Sheryl first told us we’d have ham, since that’s what everybody preferred, but asked if we could pick one up. Minutes after we had added a ham to our basket, she called back to say that Chris wanted a turkey too. No problem until Sheryl asked if she’d have to take stuff out of the inside of the turkey in order to cook it. I explained about removing the giblets, after which Sheryl made a loud gagging sound and told Chris he’d have to pull out the giblets himself if he wanted turkey. “No Way!” was the instant reply.
I laughed, sighed, and agreed to cook the turkey too. Stan had the great idea of our just cooking a turkey breast to make it easier. No such luck. We had Sheryl ask Chris what his favorite part of the turkey was, and his response was the chicken legs. For some strange reason we were unable to find a package of turkey chicken legs, so settled for a small turkey which we later told Chris came with chicken legs.
By the time our phone call and shopping trip was over, I was taking the pumpkin chiffon pies I’d already made, plus cooking the turkey, the ham, the stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. Oh yes, then we’d drive the food 20 miles to Sheryl’s place and cart it up to the second floor. Oh well, she might not be a fantastic cook, but she is a fantastic mom, and she’d provide the rest of the food plus the table and all the cleanup. I really didn’t mind spending Thanksgiving morning cooking, but it was kind of funny for me to be doing all the meat since I’ve been a vegan for over 20 years.
Thanksgiving tables are always covered with so much food, but the food is not supposed to be the most important part of the meal. We don’t usually say grace, but I wanted to express my gratitude and love to my family. I took a couple of minutes to tell Stan, Sheryl, Chris and Nick just how important they are to me, how much I love them and how proud I am of each of them. Each person at the table then took a turn sharing their thoughts, and it was really sweet, even if Nick said thanks for the food and Chris was thankful for his dog.
After eating we cleaned up the kitchen, and then curled up to watch a movie. All in all, just about a perfect Thanksgiving. No cross words or fighting between the kids, good conversation with wonderful company, and not a single thought about rushing out to buy stuff at Black Friday sales. Peaceful, loving, relaxed, and a true feeling of gratitude for our blessings in spite of challenges or problems. Who could ask for more?