Be Joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated at different times of the year to give thanks for the blessing of the harvest for the previous year. Families tend to develop their own traditions. In the South, turkey stuffed with cornbread dressing is common. My mother-in-law passed down her recipe, which I use and enjoy.
I have always enjoyed having guests for the holidays. When my children were small and still at home, I cooked huge family meals. One Thanksgiving, unexpected guests arrived with the family. The small home couldn’t hold all the dinner guests. The cramped kitchen held only a small table.
“I have plenty of food cooked, but you will have to find somewhere to sit,” I informed them.
By the time the turkey was served, the place was bursting with people trying to find plates and utensils for eating. Some borrowed from my mother-in-law had to suffice. The guests took their plates and sat outside to eat on the small front porch and the hoods of cars. Back then, they were more durable and didn’t bend like today’s vehicles.
I had one more chair than Henry David Thoreau, who wrote in his book Walden that he had only three chairs. He said he had, “. . . one for solitude, two for friendship, and three for society.” If more people happened to visit Thoreau, he said that they had to stand. He thought many houses were, “. . . extravagantly large for their inhabitants.” Personally, I thought my trailer was extravagantly small for all the Thanksgiving dinner guests.
I sat outside with them. We all enjoyed the beautiful sunny day the Lord had made, the delicious food, and one another’s company. When the guests began to leave, they thanked me for a great home-cooked meal, not a lovely, impressive dinner. One man with twinkling blue eyes laughed. “It didn’t matter if the dinnerware didn’t match. We didn’t come here for you to impress us. We came for you to feed us.”
A lot has changed over the years. I no longer live in the same place or in the same state. I have lost family members. My children are grown and have all made me a grandmother thirteen times. My mother, father, and youngest sister all live in their heavenly home. Though some of the most loved people in my life are no longer here to share the holidays with me, I still have a traditional turkey each Thanksgiving. We still celebrate the holiday and thank God for the food and blessings.
I will always remember the special Thanksgiving in the tiny ten-foot wide trailer. We were a close-knit family group. Fancy plates and utensils did not matter, nor did a fancy setting. What made that holiday so special had nothing to do with fancy materialistic things. The warmth and friendliness of our family and friends more than made up for whatever trivial items were lacking.
Though a lot has changed, some things never change. I thank God for the family who now shares my holidays. The kitchen table is larger, and I have matching plates and silverware, but love for family and thanking God for the blessings he has bestowed upon us and the mercies he has given us will never change.
Times change. People change. Places change. But remember, it does not take fancy plates or a large, fancy home to have a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. Those are trivial items that can be done without.
The heart of the family and thanking God for His blessings and your family is what Thanksgiving is all about, so have a blessed one!
Author’s Note: The cornbread dressing or stuffing recipe used by my family for generations is included at the end of my historical romance River Oaks Plantation and makes a wonderful recipe for use at Thanksgiving as well as Christmas. Our family uses it for both. The book is available for the Kindle through Amazon. http://goo.gl/zhCU7V
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright 1973, 1978, & 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
B. J. Robinson loves reading and penning Civil War era historical romance as well as various other genres to provide choice for readers. She’s an Amazon best-selling author and has written over twenty books. Blessed with children, grandchildren, and pets, her three dogs and one cat are part of the family. Visit her at http://goo.gl/JgL7O6