When I married my husband I thought our Thanksgivings together would be picturesque of a November cover issue of Martha Stewart Living. I always imagined perfectly set place settings with large floral bouquets and mixed-media centerpieces made of warm hued colored felt tied with complimentary silk ribbons. I use to fantasize about the effortless perfect sit-down holiday dinner where everyone seemed happily engaged in conversation with each other as lit candles illuminated their smiling faces and served as perfect mood lighting that accentuated the magic of the moment.
As much as I appreciate the image of a perfect Thanksgiving meal, where the turkey is seasoned and roasted to perfection and the accompanying side dishes are as memorable as the array of homemade desserts, I’ve learned that the quintessential Thanksgiving dinner has little to do with how things appear and has everything to do with the love and fellowship of the company you find yourself in.
I’ve also learned with each passing year my vision for a perfect Thanksgiving would never quite resemble a sentimental Hallmark commercial. That is, unless families in these commercials eat with plastic utensils and use sturdy heavy paper plates to heap tall piles of food onto. In that case, my family Thanksgiving gathering would very much look like a Hallmark commercial.
Instead, I have slowly learned to embrace (sometimes with hesitancy) all of the idiosyncrasies one could realistically expect in a houseful of family members – joys and trials included.
Serving a wonderful and memorable meal is nice, but enjoying the presence of those around you is what will make this Thanksgiving one to remember.
I hope your Thanksgiving gathering is filled with great food, fellowship, laughter, and memories you will recall for years.